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Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas’

Michigan’s College Football Playoff rooting guide: Nov. 14

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Cardinals Stadium

Only four weekends separate us from when the College Football Playoff and bowl game selection committees will make their final decisions and determine the fate of teams that have earned the right to play in the postseason.

Through Week 10, more than 100 FBS teams have been realistically eliminated from playoff contention. Michigan, an enormous long shot to make the Final Four, is one of the teams still in the hunt. But since the Wolverines already lost two games, they need a ton of help over the next four weeks.

Yes, it would take a Hollywood movie-type finish to the season for Michigan to slip into the top four. But until that last glimmer of hope dies, Michigan fans should enjoy the team’s first meaningful home stretch in almost a decade.

We’ll stick with the movie theme as we break down the first of the final four Saturdays. If you’re a Michigan fan holding out hope, here’s what you should root for.

“I really, really need you”

In honor of Sanka Coffie from Cool Runnings, these teams completely hold Michigan’s fate in their hands. These are the teams that Michigan absolutely needs victories from on Saturday in order to keep the Wolverines’ CFP hopes alive. If even one of these teams falls, Michigan’s CFP dreams die.

No. 14 Michigan (away) against Indiana (3:30pm, ABC): The only absolutely essential game for Michigan this weekend is its own contest in Bloomington. Thanks to a pair of early losses, the Wolverines don’t have any room for error. As soon as they drop a third game, it’s all over.

Result: Michigan 48 – Indiana 41 (2OT)

“It could happen!”

In honor of JP from Angels in the Outfield, this is the “It could happen” group. These are the teams Michigan is rooting for that have a legitimate chance to win on Saturday. Wins by these teams either help the Wolverines move up in the rankings or improve their resume (in order of kickoff time).

South Carolina (home) against No. 11 Florida (12pm, ESPN): Florida will win the SEC East and play in the conference championship game, so there’s another loss in the future. But after a 9-7 win over Vanderbilt last week, a loss to 3-6 South Carolina would drop Florida well below Michigan.

Result: Florida 24 – South Carolina 14

No. 3 Ohio State (away) against Illinois (12pm, ABC): This one might be tough to understand, but Michigan actually needs the Buckeyes to be undefeated when they come to Ann Arbor. A win against a top two team in the country would prompt a big jump for the Wolverines.

Result: Ohio State 28 – Illinois 3

No. 13 Michigan State (home) against Maryland (12pm, ESPN2): Even more surprising than rooting for Ohio State? Michigan needs MSU to bounce back against Maryland. The Wolverines already need the Spartans to lose next weekend in Columbus to have a shot to win the Big Ten, so this week’s game is very important. If Michigan State loses to Maryland and makes it three straight against in Columbus, it’ll drop out of the top 25. That would make Michigan’s loss in October much less forgivable.

Result: Michigan State 24 – Maryland 7

No. 18 Northwestern (home) against Purdue (12pm, BTN): Northwestern is Michigan’s best win of the season. As long as Pat Fitzgerald’s team keeps winning, Michigan’s resume gets better and better. If the Wildcats lose to Purdue, everything they’ve worked for comes crashing down.

Result: Northwestern 21 – Purdue 14

No. 2 Alabama (away) against No. 17 Mississippi State (3:30pm, CBS): Here’s another strange one, but Michigan needs Alabama to lose for two reasons. First, the CFP committee has proven it WILL NOT penalize Alabama for losing, no matter the conditions. Nick Saban’s team lost at home to an unranked team and still sits ahead of five of the six unbeaten teams in the country. So since Alabama will stay ahead of Michigan no matter what happens, the Wolverines might as well avoid being jumped by Mississippi State in the process.

Result: Alabama 31 – Mississippi State 6

Iowa State (home) against No. 8 Oklahoma State (3:30pm, ESPN): Oklahoma State burst onto the scene when it stomped TCU by 20 last weekend. Now, with both Oklahoma and Baylor coming to town over the next two weeks, Michigan needs a team like Iowa State to do the dirty work and knock off the undefeated Cowboys. With no conference championship game, Big 12 teams will have a hard time bouncing back from losses like that.

Result: Oklahoma State 35 – Iowa State 31

No. 12 Oklahoma (away) against No. 6 Baylor (8pm, ABC): Since the Bears lost their starting quarterback to a neck injury, the entire country has been waiting for them to slip up. Once they do, their fall in the polls will be a long one. Without a quality victory to its name, Baylor would fall out of contention with a home loss to Oklahoma. As far as the Sooners, they’ve still got games against TCU and Oklahoma State on the horizon. Michigan can hope for a slip up in one of those contests.

Result: Oklahoma 44 – Baylor 34

No. 5 Iowa (home) against Minnesota (8pm, BTN): If you actually think Michigan has a chance to slip into the top four, you need Iowa to keep winning and head into the Big Ten Championship Game with a 12-0 record. That would mean another opportunity for a top five win.

Iowa 40 – Minnesota 35

“It’s just not believable, Cotton”

In honor of Pepper Brooks, from Dodgeball, these are the true underdog stories. These teams have almost no chance to win, but if they do, it would really help Michigan.

N.C. State (away) against No. 16 Florida State (12:30pm, ESPN3): Another incredible oversight by the CFP committee: Florida State lost a game last weekend and didn’t drop a single spot. Yes, it was to the No. 1 team in the country on the road, but a loss is a loss. If N.C. State pulls an unlikely upset, FSU becomes an afterthought.

Result: Florida State 34 – N.C. State 17

Wake Forest (away) against No. 4 Notre Dame (3:30pm, NBC): Wake Forest is really, really bad. As Notre Dame’s second loss, this would likely drop the Irish out of the top 15.

Result: Notre Dame 28 – Wake Forest 7

Arkansas (away) against No. 9 LSU (7:15pm, ESPN): LSU got pounded against Alabama last week and now faces a streaking Arkansas team. Another loss would devastate Leonard Fournette and Company.

Result: Arkansas 31 – LSU 14

Arizona (home) against No. 10 Utah (10pm, FS1): “How can you ask me to root for Rich Rod’s team!?” Because Arizona is irrelevant on the national scale and Utah is ranked ahead of Michigan. Yes, a Utes loss would diminish Michigan’s opening-week game, but Utah could still win the Pac-12 South and finish in the top 15 with two losses. As long as the Utes stay in the top 25, it’s more important for Michigan to jump them in the poll.

Result: Arizona 37 – Utah 30

Oregon (away) against No. 7 Stanford (7:30pm, FOX): Oregon is starting to play a bit better, but this game is still a long shot. If Stanford losses its second game of the season, Michigan will definitely jump ahead of the Cardinal because of a win against their only common opponent: Northwestern.

Result: Oregon 38 – Stanford 36

Your bye week Saturday viewing guide

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Since you don’t have to worry about making the pilgrimage to the Big House or blocking off a chunk of time to watch the beloved Wolverines on TV tomorrow, there are any number of things to do. Yardwork, that home improvement project you’ve been putting off, appeasing your significant other, take the kids to a fall festival, or…maybe watching other games? Without much at stake tomorrow, you may not have paid much attention to the slate of games, but don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s your guide to tomorrow’s games that relate to Michigan.

Early games

There are no noon kickoffs that have any bearing on Michigan’s season so use this time to do any of the aforementioned tasks. Spend the morning and early afternoon with your significant other or getting stuff done around the house before you settle in for the afternoon games. There are three ranked teams in action at noon: #11 Oklahoma at West Virginia (ESPN), #12 South Carolina at UCF (ABC), and #15 Miami at South Florida (ESPNU), so perhaps you could have one of those on in the background.

Afternoon games

LSU and Georgia are potential bowl opponents to keep an eye on (Dale Zanine, US Presswire)

The first big matchup of the day that relates to Michigan is #14 Oklahoma at #22 Notre Dame (3:30pm, NBC). The Sooners are out for revenge after getting throttled by the Irish in Norman a year ago. OU has given up just 27 points in three games this season, and they have had two weeks to prepare for Notre Dame, but this will be their first road test. Quarterback Blake Bell looked good against Tulsa two weeks ago, completing 27-of-37 passes for 413 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Michigan fans will want to cheer for the Irish in this one since Michigan already beat Notre Dame. The more games ND wins the rest of the season the more it will help Michigan’s BCS chances should the Wolverines keep winning.

Also at 3:30 is a Big Ten matchup between Iowa and Minnesota (ABC/ESPN2). This certainly won’t be the best game on but it’s a chance to scout out two future opponents including next week’s. Minnesota is 4-0 so far and Iowa is 3-1, though neither has beaten a quality opponent. It will be a good early season barometer of how good both of these teams really is before they face the upper tier of the Big Ten in the coming weeks. It’s a rivalry game, played for the Floyd of Rosedale, and two of the last three meetings have been decided by three points or less.

The biggest game on at the 3:30 time slot is one that may or may not be relevant to Michigan: #6 LSU at #9 Georgia (CBS). GameDay will be in Athens in the morning, which might be worth flipping on to see Bubba Watson and Willie Robertson as the guest pickers. You may not enjoy watching SEC football, but one of these teams could very well end up being Michigan’s opponent in January, and it’s sure to be a great game.

Evening games

Wisconsin may be the best chance for Ohio State to lose before Nov. 30 (Kirk Irwin, Getty Images)

If you weren’t able to catch any of the games during the day, now is definitely the time to kick back, enjoy a cold one (or a few) and watch some football. At 8pm #4 Ohio State hosts #23 Wisconsin on ABC. While Michigan doesn’t play the Badgers this season, it may be the best chance for the Buckeyes to lose before they come to Ann Arbor on Nov. 30. Wisconsin has one of the nation’s top running games with two very good backs, both of which are on pace for well more than 1,000 yards. Melvin Gordon has 624 yards on 11.8 yards per carry through four games, while James White has 442 on 7.2 yards per carry. Even freshman Corey Clement has more yards than Michigan’s leading rusher, Fitzgerald Toussaint, does (334 on 7.6 yards per carry).

Ohio State has played four cupcakes to start the season and is coming off a 76-0 thrashing of Florida A&M. What’s more is that Braxton Miller is set to start after missing the last two games with a knee injury. He entered the season as a Heisman favorite, but his backup, Kenny Guiton has looked phenomenal the last two weeks. It will be interesting to see how Urban Meyer handles it if Miller struggles.

Two other evening games will be worth checking out similar to the LSU-Georgia game for the potential of Michigan facing them in January. Top-ranked Alabama hosts #21 Ole Miss (6:30 on ESPN) and #10 Texas A&M visits Arkansas (7:00 on ESPN2). Alabama hasn’t been as dominant to this point as it has been the past few years, and Ole Miss is in the midst of a resurgence, so it should be a good one to watch.

Overall, it’s a pretty good slate of games this weekend so enjoy a stress free weekend of football and whatever else is on your agenda.

Michigan 80 – Arkansas 67: Beilein earns 100th victory in Ann Arbor

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Final 1st 2nd Total
#3 Michigan (9-0) 42 38 80
Arkansas (4-4) 32 35 67

A year ago, Michigan visited Fayetteville, Ark. in the middle of the Big Ten schedule and quickly fell behind by 20 in the first half. Despite a furious comeback, the Wolverines lost 66-64, picking up a loss just four days after a thrilling win over Michigan State. Today, Michigan hosted the Razorbacks and returned the favor with a 80-67 win.

Michigan built a 30-18 lead in the first 13 minutes of the game and held off an Arkansas comeback in the second half to pull away for the 13-point win. Michigan led 42-32 at the half, but Arkansas scored 11 of the first 13 points of the second half to cut the lead to two. It remained within a few points for the next five minutes and Arkansas pulled within one at 56-55 with 8:48 to play. But Michigan got back to back threes by freshmen Nik Stauskas and Spike Albrecht and outscored the Razorbacks 24-12 the rest of the way.

John Beilein has won 100 games as Michigan head coach (Carlos Osorio, AP)

All five starters scored in double digits, led by Glenn Robinson III’s 17 on 7-of-11 shooting. Trey Burke added 16 points and seven assits, while Tim Hardaway Jr was a rebound short of a double-double with 14 points and nine boards. Jordan Morgan did record a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Nik Stauskas also added 12 points.

Michigan didn’t get much bench scoring in this one, as Mitch McGary scored six and Spike Albrecht hit a three. No one else scored, but Jon Horford put in 10 solid minutes with four rebounds, three blocks, and a steal.

As a team, Michigan shot 46.8 percent, which is lower than its season average. Arkansas shot right at its season average of 44.3. It was the three-ball that kept the Razorbacks in the game. They hit 10-of-17, which is far better than their 28.8 percent season average. But Michigan pulled away thanks to the charity stripe, where the Wolverines made 15-of-18 and Arkansas attempted just four. Michigan also dominated the glass, out-rebounding Arkansas 42-26, including an 18-to-10 edge on the offensive end.

It was John Beilein’s 100th win since he arrived in Ann Arbor and it moved Michigan to 9-0 for the first time since the 1988-89 season. You may remember what happened that season: Michigan’s last national championship.

The Wolverines return to action on Tuesday against Binghamton (2-8) in the Crisler Center before traveling back to New York City on Saturday night to face West Virginia in the Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival.

Final Game Stats
01 Glenn Robinson III* 7-11 2-3 1-1 3 3 6 1 17 0 2 0 1 29
52 Jordan Morgan* 5-9 0-0 2-2 6 4 10 2 12 0 3 0 1 23
03 Trey Burke* 6-13 1-3 3-5 1 3 4 2 16 7 3 1 1 34
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 3-10 1-4 7-8 1 8 9 1 14 3 3 0 1 35
11 Nik Stauskas* 4-10 2-5 2-2 0 1 1 2 12 2 1 1 0 36
02 Spike Albrecht 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 8
04 Mitch McGary 3-6 0-0 0-0 4 1 5 1 6 0 0 1 0 16
03 Eso Akunne 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
13 Matt Vogrich 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
15 Jon Horford 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 1 0 0 0 3 1 10
22 Blake McLimans 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
23 Caris LeVert 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6
Totals 29-62 7-18 15-18 18 24 42 8 80 14 12 6 5 200
Arkansas 27-61 10-17 3-4 10 16 26 19 67 14 11 7 8 200

Michigan vs Arkansas preview/quick thoughts

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

#3 Michigan v. Arkansas
Saturday, Dec. 8
12pm ET
8-0 Record 4-3
Slippery Rock 100-62
IUPUI 91-54
Cleveland State 77-47
Pittsburgh 67-62
Kansas State 71-57
NC State 79-72
Bradley 74-66
W. Michigan 73-41
Wins Sam Houston St. 73-68
Longwood 112-63
Florida A&M 89-60
Oklahoma 81-78
Losses Arizona State 68-83
Wisconsin 70-77
#6 Syracuse 82-91
79.0 Points Per Game 82.1
59.6 Scoring Defense 74.3
235-for-451 (52.1%) Field Goal % 200-for-453 (44.2%)
180-for-448 (40.2%) Def. Field Goal % 183-for-399 (45.9%)
61-for-153 (42.5%) 3-point % 36-for-125 (28.8%)
42-for-147 (28.6%) Def. 3-point % 51-for-140 (36.4%)
97-for-134 (72.4%) Free Throw % 139-for-191 (72.8%)
12.1 FT Made/Game 19.9
37.5 Rebounds Per Game 35.1
28.0 Opp. Reb. Per Game 38.7
15.1 Assists Per Game 15.0
9.9 Turnovers Per Game 10.9
4.3 Steals Per Game 9.0
2.4 Blocks Per Game 4.1
G – Trey Burke (17.0)
G – Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.6)
Leading Scorer G – B.J. Young (19.5)
F – Marshawn Powell (16.1)
F – Glenn Robinson (6.8)
G – Tim Hardaway (5.3)
Leading Rebounder F – Coty Clarke (5.9)
F – Marshawn Powell (5.6)

Now more than a month into the season, the preseason top-five Michigan Wolverines have yet to fall and find themselves ranked No. 3 overall in the country with an 8-0 record. There have been a couple tests on the way to their unblemished record, but there is yet to be a team to provide an extreme challenge. Tomorrow, Michigan will welcome the SEC’s Arkansas Razorbacks to Ann Arbor (12pm on CBS) and look to get revenge over one of the three teams from last year’s non-conference season to hand them a loss. The Razorbacks have gotten off to a mediocre 4-3 start so far, but their fast-paced “40 Minutes of Hell” style of play gave Michigan some fits a year ago and they will certainly be looking to turn some heads against a top-notch team. Here are a few keys to the outcome of tomorrow’s game:

  1. 1. Stop B.J. Young: Arkansas sophomore B.J. Young was one of the nation’s best freshmen last year after leading all SEC freshmen in scoring and leading his own team in scoring and shooting percentage. Now a preseason 3rd Team All-American selection, Young has come out of the gates like a man on a mission, putting up a remarkable line of 19.5 points, 4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and only 1 turnover in only 29.2 minutes per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. In last year’s 66-64 win over Michigan, Young gave the Wolverines trouble all game long, putting up 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals while shooting 6-10 from the field. What’s perhaps scariest about facing the sensational sophomore, however, is how he rises to the occasion in big games. Last season, Young averaged 20 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field against ranked teams and has only improved on that aspect of his game, averaging 21.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game against Wisconsin and Syracuse this year, the only two teams Arkansas has played this season that have been ranked in the top 25. Tim Hardaway, Jr. will likely spend the majority of tomorrow’s game spotting Young on defense, where he would be wise to stop the drive at all costs and force Young into shooting the ball. The 6’3″ guard is only shooting 14.3 percent from downtown this year after making 41.3 percent of his long-rangers last year.

    Arkansas' 40 minutes of hell defense will force Michigan to take care of the ball (Gareth Patterson, AP)

  1. 2. Protecting the Rock: Current Arkansas coach Mike Anderson adopted old Razorback coach Nolan Richardson’s 40 Minutes of Hell style in which the Hogs apply full-court ball pressure 100 percent of the time in an attempt to rattle the other team and force as many turnovers as possible. Michigan only turned the ball over 10 times in last year’s loss, but the heavy pressure clearly brought the Wolverines out of their comfort zone and forced them into a very poor shooting day. As is well-documented, however, the Wolverines are even younger this season and will play five different freshmen in the game tomorrow, a concerning fact for coach John Beilein. The play of backup point guard Spike Albrecht will be of particular interest to me. Trey Burke will obviously again see the lion’s share of minutes at the one, but when Albrecht spells him for five minutes or so, he will need to remain poised and work the ball up the floor by making smart passes; he simply doesn’t possess the quickness or handles of Burke yet to become a one-man press break. There is simply no denying Arkansas’s effectiveness when forcing turnovers, though. In their four wins so far, the Razorbacks have turned the other team over an average of 21.3 times per game, but they have only collected 14 cough-ups per game in their three losses. The numbers can be taken with a grain of salt due to the competition level of the wins and the losses, but the trend is clear. Michigan will have to move the ball around effectively and quickly to find the open man. Nik Stauskas could devastate this style of defense if the Wolverines do what they are supposed to.
  1. 3. Controlling the Game: This point goes hand-in-hand with the previous one, but there’s something to be said about the pace at which Arkansas will want to play tomorrow. Michigan generally plays the game very methodically, looking for the best possible shot in a possession and rarely firing away fewer than 10-15 seconds in the shot clock unless there is a fast break opportunity. Arkansas, on the other hand, will look to run quite often regardless of how open the court may be and will want to turn the game into a high-possession horse race. If the Wolverines are able to control the game like usual and pick their own spots while slowing the Razorback attack they shouldn’t have much trouble putting Arkansas away, but if they get out of whack like they did last year, it will be close. It took Michigan about one whole half to figure out Arkansas’s pressure a season ago, and by that time, the 13-point deficit was too large to overcome. A strong but relaxed start for Michigan should give them the upper hand throughout.

Prediction: Last year, Arkansas’s win was largely the result of a tough spot in the middle of the Big Ten schedule, a rowdy environment, and a hot shooting night. The Razorbacks should have none of those this time around barring an unforeseen offensive outburst (they shoot just 44.2% from the field and 28.8% from downtown), which leads me to believe that Michigan’s far superior talent should have no problem running away with this game, 80-65.

Arkansas 66 – #19 Michigan 64

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Final 1st 2nd Total
#19 Michigan (15-5, 5-2) 33 31 64
Arkansas (14-5, 2-2 SEC) 46 20 66

Zack Novak hit 5-of-7 three-point attempts and led Michigan with 17 points (photo by

Michigan traveled to Fayetteville for a unique midseason out of conference matchup with Southeastern Conference opponent Arkansas. While it meant nothing for the Big Ten race, a win would have allowed Michigan to maintain its momentum from its third straight win over rival Michigan State. But it wasn’t meant to be as Michigan fell 66-64 in front of a packed Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas jumped out to an early 11-2 lead as Michigan missed four of its first five shots. Zack Novak hit the first of his five three-pointers but through the first 10 minutes of the game, Michigan had fallen behind 29-10. The Michigan offense finally came alive, outplaying the Razorbacks for the final 10 minutes of the first half and went into the locker room down 46-33.

Arkansas opened the second half with a three, but eight straight points by Jordan Morgan and a layup by Novak got Michigan right back in the game, trailing by just six. Michigan then went ice cold, failing to score a point for nearly six minutes, and Arkansas widened its lead  back to 13. But Michigan wasn’t done yet. Morgan ignited a 12-1 Michigan run. Another Novak three pulled Michigan to within two with 3:48 to play.

Over the final three minutes, the teams traded a pair of baskets and Michigan was forced to foul, trailing by two with 21 seconds remaining. Arkansas freshman guard B.J. Young missed a free throw, but the Razorbacks grabbed the offensive board and Michigan had to f0ul again. Once again it was missed and this time Michigan grabbed the board. In the final seconds, Trey Burke got off a three but it rattled in and out at the buzzer and Arkansas pulled off the upset.

Novak led the way for the Wolverines, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds. His 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range was the lone bright spot for the team as Michigan went 8-for-28 from downtown. Morgan contributed 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Burke was the only other Wolverine in double figures with 13. He also added seven rebounds and six assists for a well-rounded day. Tim Hardaway Jr continued his recent struggles, scoring just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting.

Michigan outrebounded the Razorbacks 35-29 and pulled down 13 offensive boards, but Arkansas attempted 21 free throws to Michigan’s seven and made seven more than Michigan did.

Michigan returns to Big Ten play on Tuesday night with a road trip to West Lafayette, Ind. to battle the Purdue Boilermakers (14-6, 4-3) who just got drubbed by Michigan State 83-58.

Final Game Stats
52 Jordan Morgan* 7-11 0-0 2-2 3 3 6 3 16 0 1 0 0 25
00 Zack Novak* 6-9 5-7 0-0 3 5 8 3 17 1 4 0 1 38
01 Stu Douglass* 2-10 1-8 0-0 1 0 1 3 5 5 1 0 0 31
03 Trey Burke* 6-19 1-6 0-1 2 5 7 2 13 6 2 1 1 39
10 Tim Hardaway Jr* 3-8 1-4 2-2 0 7 7 4 9 2 2 0 0 37
13 Matt Vogrich 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 13
22 Blake McLimans 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
23 Evan Smotrycz 1-2 0-1 2-2 2 1 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 15
Totals 25-61 8-28 6-7 13 22 35 18 64 15 10 1 2 200
Arkansas 24-48 5-11 13-21 5 24 29 13 66 15 8 5 6 200

Michigan Hoops Preview: Arkansas

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Michigan doesn’t get long to celebrate its third straight win over hated rival Michigan State as the Big Ten’s leader returns to action this afternoon with an odd out of conference matchup with Arkansas.

#19 Michigan v. Arkansas
Saturday, Jan. 21
2 p.m. ET
Fayetteville, Ark.
15-4 (5-2) Record 13-5 (2-2 SEC)
Ferris State 59-33
Towson 64-47
W. Illinois 59-55
#8 Memphis 73-61
UCLA 79-63
Iowa State 79-66
Oakland 90-80
Ark. Pine-Bluff 63-50
Alabama A&M 87-57
Bradley 77-66
Penn State 71-53
Minnesota 61-56
#16 Wisconsin 59-41
Northwestern 66-64 OT
#9 Michigan St. 60-59
Wins S.C. Upstate 83-63
Oakland 91-68
Utah Valley 67-59
Grambling 86-44
Miss. Valley State 97-64
SE Louisiana 62-55
E. Kentucky 71-57
Louisiana Tech 77-63
Charlotte 80-67
Texas Southern 77-49
Savannah State 83-66
#16 Miss. State 98-88
LSU 69-60
#6 Duke 75-82
Virginia 58-70
#11 Indiana 71-73
Iowa 59-75
Losses Houston 78-87
#10 UConn 62-75
Oklahoma 63-78
Mississippi 63-71
#2 Kentucky 63-86
68.8 Points Per Game 76.9
60.6 Scoring Defense 65.5
472-for-1019 (46.3%) Field Goal % 456-for-1,037 (44.0%)
415-for-999 (41.5%) Def. Field Goal % 398-for-1019 (39.1%)
156-for-452 (34.5%) 3-point % 110-for-316 (34.8%)
123-for-343 (35.9%) Def. 3-point % 97-for-317 (30.5%)
207-for-294 (70.4%) Free Throw % 285-for-413 (69.0%)
10.9 Free Throws Made/Game 16.8
33.0 Rebounds Per Game 37.9
31.2 Opp. Rebounds Per Game 38.8
13.2 Assists Per Game 15.2
11.3 Turnovers Per Game 13.5
5.2 Steals Per Game 9.3
2.5 Blocks Per Game 6.4
G – Tim Hardaway (15.4)
G – Trey Burke (14.6)
Leading Scorer G – B.J. Young (15.0)
G – Mardracus Wade (11.1)
F – Evan Smotrycz (6.1)
F – Jordan Morgan (5.5)
Leading Rebounder F – Devonta Abron (5.1)
G – Julysses Nobles (4.1)

The Razorbacks come in with a record of 13-5 but a quick look at the schedule shows that those 13 wins came against a collection of misfits and nobodies. The highest ranked team the Razorbacks beat was 16th-ranked Mississippi State. Other than that, a nine point win over LSU and a 23 point win over common opponent Oakland.

Arkansas did hang with UConn in early December before falling 75-62. The Razorbacks also lost to by 25 to #2 Kentucky last Tuesday as well as Oklahoma, Mississippi and 9-9 Houston.

Arkansas leading scorer, junior forward Marshawn Powell, suffered a season ending knee injury in the second game of year after scoring 19 and 20 points in the first two games, respectively.

The leading healthy scorer is freshman guard B.J. Young, who averages 14.7 points per game. He has been held to single digits in just four games, one being his first career game in which he played just 14 minutes. He scored 28 against UConn and 24 against both Oklahoma and Mississippi State. He’s a capable three-point shooter, having hit 28-of-67 (41.8 percent) so far and he’s shooting 51.3 percent overall from the field.

The second-leading scorer and best three-point sharpshooter is sophomore guard Mardracus Wade. The 6’2″ guard is averaging 11.1 points per game and shooting 49.3 percent from downtown (37-of-75). He has hit at least one three in all but two games so far and has hit multiple treys in 12 of the 18 games.

Inside, the Razorbacks rely on 6’8″ freshman Devonta Abron and 6’9″ senior Michael Sanchez. The pair doesn’t contribute much to the scoring, averaging 5.8 and 4.6 points per game, respectively, but Abron is the team’s second leading rebounder. 6’10” freshman Hunter Mickelson also adds a solid inside presence despite scoring just 4.4 points per game, as he ranks second nationally with 2.7 blocks per game.

As a team, Arkansas is very young, plays an uptempo style similar to that of Memphis, and rotates a lot of players in and out in order to do so. The Razorbacks shoot slightly worse than Michigan (44 percent) but hold opponents to just 39.1 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from three-point range. They grab a lot of rebounds (five per game more than Michigan) but also give up a lot (nearly eight more than Michigan allows).

Arkansas is the type of team Michigan usually plays very well against, as John Beilein’s system is predicated around taking care of the ball and controlling the tempo. Expect a game much like the Memphis game early in the season where Michigan got the Tigers out of rhythm and picked up a win. It’s a game Michigan should win but if the Razorback pressure causes Michigan to turn the ball over, it could be a lost opportunity for the Wolverines. This type of midseason out of conference matchup obviously does nothing for the team’s goal of winning the Big Ten, but is the kind of game that could impact its NCAA Tournament resume come Selection Sunday, good or bad.