Michigan (13-4, 3-1) at Iowa (13-3, 4-0)
When: Sunday, January 10th 2016
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA
Time: 4:30 ET | TV: Big Ten Network
Two teams coming off huge wins will face off in Iowa City on Sunday as the Iowa Hawkeyes host the Michigan Wolverines. Iowa is coming off a win in East Lansing over Michigan State for the first time since 1993 and it wasn’t even close. The Hawkeyes dominated throughout for an impressive 76-59 victory over the fourth-ranked Spartans. Peter Jok led Iowa with 23 points (19 first half) and Jarrod Uthoff added 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win for the fifth double-double of his career. Uthoff has scored in double figures in all 16 games and is averaging 21.6 points over his last three contests and needs 32 to reach 1,000 for his career. The Hawkeyes beat then #1 Michigan State earlier this season at home and then beat 14th ranked Purdue the next game. Iowa looks to start Big Ten play 5-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season and have won 11 straight games at home dating back to last season. Iowa has won the last two meetings with Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena by an average margin of 17 points. With wins over three-ranked teams already and a one-point loss at Iowa State, the Hawkeyes are building quite a resume for the NCAA Selection Committee.
Michigan is also coming off their most impressive victory of the season when they beat third-ranked Maryland 70-67 on Tuesday. The Wolverines earned their first victory over a top-25 opponent while extending their home winning streak to seven games and can earn back-to-back victories over ranked teams for the first time this season. Michigan has nailed at least 10 3-pointers in each of its last six games and hopes to continue its impressive shooting from the outside by beating the Hawkeyes in Iowa City for the first time in almost five years. Duncan Robinson nailed five 3-pointers en route to 17 points and ranks second nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (55.7). He has made five or more 3-pointers in six games this season. Zak Irvin scored a season-high 22 points in the win over Maryland, and Derrick Walton Jr. added 12 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the year. Caris LeVert, who leads the Wolverines in scoring (17.6) and assists (5.2), was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list but has missed the last three games with a lower leg injury and is doubtful for Sunday.
Iowa has impressed me all season long and it looks like Vegas is as well. They are 7.5 point favorites in this one and that’s a little too much for me to lay against a Michigan team who can get red-hot from beyond the arc. I’ll take the points.
Pick: Michigan +7.5