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CLEMSON VS MICHIGAN

1ST ROUND NCAA TOURNEY

Bet Jamaica Line Clemson -5 O/U 137.5

 

The Clemson Tigers began the year a perfect 16-0, until running into the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. They have garnered a reputation for starting out fast, and burning out in the late stages of the season. After reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in ten years last year the Tigers took an early exit in the first round. They will seek to improve on that effort this year, but the Michigan Wolverines are going to do everything that they can to stop them.


This year has been a long time coming for the Michigan Wolverines. The Ed Martin scandal rocked the program, but they appear to be back on their feet. They finished the 2009 season with a respectable record of 20-13 and earned a 10 seed. This team has several nice wins, but has dropped some bad losses as well. Their best wins came against UCLA, Duke, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. They lost games to Maryland, Iowa, Penn State, and Ohio State. Their road record of 3-7 reflects poorly upon them, but they were able to steal a win at Minnesota late in the year. Michigan is like a golden goose against the spread. They are 7-3 in their last ten games ATS.


Clemson started out very hot, and has cooled off a bit since then. That can be attributed to the very tough ACC play. The Tigers were able to win against USC, Virginia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, and Duke. I love their 7-4 road record. They have a proven ability to stay calm in a hostile setting. Iím a bit concerned with their play of late, because they have lost three of their last four games. Granted, two of those games were against Wake Forest and Florida State. Clemson is 4-6 in their last ten games versus the spread.


Clemson is led by junior forward Trevor Booker. He was named All ACC First Team this year because of his 15.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG statistics. Connecting at 40.9% from three point land helped too! His best game of the year was a 21 point and 13 rebound performance at Boston College. Talk about a road warrior! Iíve watched this team a lot of the years, and K.C. Rivers always makes an impact. He went wild on Virginia Tech, with 29 points and 6 rebounds. On the season he was good for 14.2 PPG, and 5.9 RPG. Rivers is also a reliable three point threat at 39.8% accuracy. Terrence Oglesby is also pivotal to a Tiger victory. The sophomore is averaging 13.5 PPG.


Manny Harris is the best that the Michigan Wolverines have to offer, and he is quite a skilled ball player. The Detriot, MI native is leading the team with 16.8 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 6.9 RPG. This is excellent, considering he is only a sophomore. Harris had 27 points in a win over Purdue. DeShawn Sims is a junior, and he can be counted on for 15.7 PPG and 6.9 RPG. His best game of the year was when he put up 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a Wolverine victory over the Duke Blue Devils. Michigan has several young players who can be rotated through the lineup.


This game isnít the easiest to pick a winner, but Iím going to go with Clemson. They have been prepared for this tournament by tough ACC play, and are used to big games. Michigan on the other hand has been playing ďsoftĒ opponents and hasnít proved they can beat tough teams on the road. They will be one to watch next year, but Clemson should send them packing early in 2009. However, if you like Michigan it is hard to argue with their record ATS. Iíll take the Clemson Tigers at -5.5 anyway.
 

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