By GEOFF MEHL, Staff Reporter
The No. 22 Michigan Wolverines head to Durham, North Carolina to take on No. 6 Duke Blue Devils in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday, December 3.
Michigan (5-2) finds themselves with a tough matchup in the first round of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Duke (6-2) leads the all-time series over Michigan, 21-8. Tuesday will be the first time these teams meet in the challenge.
Michigan is going into the game with maybe its healthiest lineup to date. Sophomore leaders Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas have all missed games with various injuries and have yet to find offensive continuity.
Duke is also going through some growing pains against ranked opponents in the early season. The Blue Devils’ offense is ranked No. 20 in the country, averaging 87 points per game. The group is led by freshman star Jabari Parker, who is averaging 23 points per game.
Unlike Michigan’s losses to unranked opponents, Duke has lost to #2 Kansas and #4 Arizona in the non-conference schedule. Michigan will have to be prepared to play good defense against this high-powered Duke offense.
The last time these two programs met, Duke defeated Michigan 82-75 in the second round of the 2011 EA Sports Maui Invitational. Duke is 9-3 at home against Michigan in the series and 12-2 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The key for the Wolverines against Duke will to play disciplined defense. If Michigan can make it hard for Parker and the Blue Devils to score while staying out of foul trouble, then it will translate on both sides of the court.