Michigan vs Colorado State Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan vs Colorado State Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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Michigan vs Colorado State Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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Michigan vs Colorado State: NCAA Tournament First Round prediction and college basketball game preview.


Michigan vs Colorado State Game Preview, NCAA Tournament First Round How To Watch

Date: Thursday, March 17
Game Time: 12:15 pm
Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
How To Watch: CBS
Records: Michigan (11 seed, 17-14)
Colorado State (5 seed, 25-5)
Region: South

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Why Colorado State Will Win

It’s a deep team that’s going to keep up the offensive pressure.

Even though it had to deal with a slew of defensive vice-grip teams in San Diego State, Boise State, and Fresno State in the Mountain West, the Rams still managed to average a league-high 74 points per game.

They don’t take a ton of threes, but they make them. They don’t make a whole slew of mistakes on the offensive end, and the defense doesn’t hack and doesn’t put teams on the free throw line.

The Wolverines don’t have the defense to shut down what Colorado State can do offensively – there won’t be any offensive dead spots, and …

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Why Michigan Will Win

For whatever it’s worth, Colorado State hasn’t played that great a schedule.

The Mountain West was strong this season, and it beat Mississippi State in early December, but that’s it for the games again Power Five-caliber teams.

The Rams do a whole lot of things right, but even though the offense is good from three, it doesn’t turn the lights out from the outside. There are no offensive rebounds to speak of, and the defense doesn’t force enough takeaways to make a big difference.

It’s just this simple for Michigan – it has to make the shots it takes.

This isn’t a good enough defensive team to clamp down if the O isn’t working, and it’s not going to manufacture transition points. When the Wolverines make 47% or more of their shots they’re 14-4. When they don’t, they’re 3-10.

However …

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Michigan vs Colorado State: What’s Going To Happen

Colorado State might not have much of a defense, but teams are only hitting 43% from the field against it. Even worse for Michigan, only nine teams were able to hit 47% or better from the field against the D, and the Rams won six of them.

This is the flakiest of flaky Wolverine teams, but it moves the ball around well, it was hot from the field before getting shut down by the Indiana defense in the Big Ten Tournament, and it’s got one thing Colorado State doesn’t have …

Size.

Michigan doesn’t have a David Roddy – the best player in the Mountain West this season – and point guard DeVante Jones is expected to be out, but it’s got the bulk and the height on the inside. Colorado State has a few big men, but they’re better with a smaller lineup.

Michigan will score inside.

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Michigan vs Colorado State: NCAA Tournament First Round Prediction, Lines

Michigan 74, Colorado State 70
Line: Michigan -1.5, o/u: 137
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
CFN Experts Pick: Michigan vs Colorado State
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