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College Basketball Picks Today Rutgers vs. Michigan

By February 23, 2022No Comments

Rutgers vs Michigan

When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI

Aiming to improve its standing while vying for an NCAA Tournament berth, the Michigan Wolverines won’t have coach Juwan Howard for the regular-season stretch run.

Beginning with Wednesday night’s home game against Rutgers in Ann Arbor, Mich., Howard will serve a five-game suspension for striking Wisconsin assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft in the face following the Wolverines’ 77-63 road loss to the then-No. 15 Badgers on Sunday. Howard also was fined $40,000.

Michigan (14-11, 8-7 Big Ten) also will be without Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams II against the Scarlet Knights (16-10, 10-6). The forwards were suspended for one game for their role in the post-game melee at Wisconsin.

“We will learn from this incident as a department, work to improve ourselves while operating under a spotlight, and move forward in a positive light,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement.

With a strong finish to the regular season (four of the five games are at home) and a solid run in the Big Ten Tournament — for which Howard will be eligible to return — the Wolverines would seem likely to emerge from the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Rutgers is in a similar position.

The Scarlet Knights enter Wednesday’s game with victories in five of their past seven games, including four straight wins against ranked foes.

That surge ended Sunday with an 84-72 loss at then-No. 5 Purdue despite a balanced attack that included a quartet of double-figure scorers. Paul Mulcahy (15 points) and Clifford Omoruyi (14) led the way.

Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell calls Mulcahy “our voice” and “our director,” as he leads the conference in assists (6.4 per game in Big Ten play).

Although Omoruyi was assessed a technical foul after showing frustration with Purdue’s Trevion Williams and struggled to contain 7-foot-4 Boilermaker Zach Edey, Pikiell expressed confidence.

“Cliff’s been playing well, and we got to keep him at a high level and keep making progress with him on both ends of the floor,” Pikiell said.

Hunter Dickinson paced Michigan with 21 points at Wisconsin. The Wolverines made just 4 of 25 of their 3-point shots and have made just 19.4 percent in the past three games.

Rutgers topped visiting Michigan 75-67 on Jan. 4, earning its first victory against the Wolverines in 15 tries. The programs first met in December 1933.

–Field Level Media

NCAAB Pick: Rutgers +6 (-120)