In the 24th and final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Virginia travels to Ann Arbor for a tough Michigan road challenge on Tuesday night. The Wolverines have a new but talented roster centered around all-American center Hunter Dickinson. Beating them on the road will take a solid performance from the Cavaliers, now the No. 3 team in the nation.
Read on for a full Virginia at Michigan preview, including game details, an opponent’s scouting report, game notes and a score prediction.
Who: Virginia Cavaliers (5-0) at Michigan Wolverines (5-1)
When: Tuesday, November 29 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan
How to see: ESPN
How to stream: fuboTV (start free trial)
How to listen: SiriusXM 158 or 203, SXM app 955 | Virginia Sports Radio Network – click here for affiliates
all-time streak: The series between Virginia and Michigan is 2-2
Last meeting: Virginia defeated Michigan 70-58 in the 2011 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on November 29, 2011
Opponent’s scouting report: Michigan
2021-2022: 19-15, 11-9 Big Ten
Wins: against Purdue Fort Wayne 75-56. vs. Eastern Michigan 88-83, vs. Pittsburgh 91-60, vs. Ohio 70-66 (OT), vs. Jackson State 78-68
Losses: to Arizona State 87-62
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Michigan made the Sweet Sixteen last season but only brings back one starter from that team. That one returner is a big one, however, as the 7’1″ center Hunter Dickinson is leading the way for the Wolverines. A freshman and two-time All-Big Ten pick, Dickinson is a consensus All-American and a double-double machine and features has great ball skills that come with his size and strength, he’s nearly hitting a double-double averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, shooting 60% from the ground and is good for the occasional three-pointer as he’s in those 2/6 season on three points This will be a crucial matchup for Kadin Shedrick, whose improvements in terms of strength will really be tested as he tries to keep Dickinson off the basket and off the boards on both ends of the floor.
The other key matchup will be the Cavalier guarding Jett Howard, the 6’8″ freshman guard and son of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard. Jett Howard is averaging 15.2 points per game on 50% shooting from the floor and 43 .9% three-point shooting to go along with just under three assists per game As Michigan’s most prolific perimeter and defensive threat, UVA would be inclined to field Howard in Reece Beekman, one of the best on-ball defenders in the country. But at 6’3″. , Beekman could struggle with the size advantage Howard would have over him. If Virginia tries to put a bigger player like Jayden Gardner or Ben Vander Plas on Howard, they might have trouble keeping Howard ahead given his athleticism and ball-handling skills. There’s no guarantee this will happen, but this could be a scenario where Tony Bennett puts Ryan Dunn in play and sees how well 6’8″ newcomer Jett Howard can neutralize. Either way, how Virginia chooses to protect Howard will be a key factor in this game.
Michigan has received some solid contributions from junior forward Terrance Williams II, who is currently averaging 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, despite struggling to kick the ball off the boundary earlier in the season. Princeton signing Jaelin Llewellyn (7.7 ppg) and 6’4″ second guard Kobe Bufkin (9.2 ppg) round out the starting XI.
Newcomers Dug McDaniel and Tarris Reed, as well as 6’7″ junior Jace Howard, also the son of Juwan Howard and older brother of Jett, have given the Wolverines some good minutes off the bench. Virginia will also be a familiar face in the Duke transfer See Joey Baker, who was hugely valuable as a sniper off the bench, shot 47.4% from three, an area where Michigan struggled as a team, and shot just 31.8% from beyond the arc this season.
Michigan started the season at No. 22 and rose to No. 20 after the first week of the season, but the Wolverines have since been eliminated from the AP Top 25 entirely. Michigan struggled with boring and close wins over Eastern Michigan, Ohio and Jackson State and suffered a blowout loss to Arizona State by 25 points on a neutral court. This will be a big week for the Wolverines as they will have two major opportunities to prove themselves when UVA comes to town on Tuesday night and then a showdown with Kentucky on Sunday at the London Showcase.
- Virginia is ranked #3 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, the team’s highest ranking since the end of the 2018-2019 season
- UVA are back at 5-0 for the first time since the 2019-2020 season
- This is the second time Virginia and Michigan have met in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but the first time the Cavaliers have ever played at Ann Arbor
- Virginia is 107-131 all-time against opponents who are currently members of the Big Ten, including a win over Illinois in Las Vegas just over a week ago
- Virginia owns a 13-8 record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 6-5 record in road games
- UVA has won eight of its last 11 games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge but lost its two most recent games against Iowa in 2021 and Purdue in 2019
- This week marks the final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The ACC is launching a new basketball challenge for men and women starting in the 2023-2024 season with the SEC
The Wolverines will have a chip on their shoulders as they attempt to prove themselves after some early-season struggles. Michigan will also have significant home field advantage. Against a team with less experience, that would be a recipe for victory in Michigan. But nearly all of UVA’s major rotary players are veterans who have experience playing and winning in hostile environments. This is Virginia’s first real away game of the season and Michigan are a talented team, but this is a test UVA should pass.
Score prediction: Michigan 65, Virginia 70
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