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Battle 4 Atlantis: Gonzaga vs. Michigan Game Preview

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The Zags go for gold.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Gonzaga at Oregon Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines are facing off today for the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship.

Yesterday, Gonzaga defeated the Oregon Ducks in a thrilling 73-72 overtime win. Filip Petrusev scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and Corey Kispert continued his strong play in the Bahamas, finishing with 17 points.

Meanwhile, the Wolverines pulled the upset on the North Carolina Tar Heels, 73-64, effectively putting the game out of reach after a nice start to the second half.

Meet the opponent

Michigan Wolverines, 6-0, KenPom #24

There were probably quite a few people who were clawing for the game against North Carolina, but Michigan is not a bad draw, especially later down the line. The Wolverines have looked surprisingly good to open the year. Led by junior forward Isaiah Livers and his 17.2 points per game, Michigan has the second-highest eFG% in the country.

They are a balanced squad, with four players averaging double-digit points and all of this offense orchestrated by senior point guard Zavier Simpson, who averages 9.8 assists per game. 7’1 senior center Jon Teske is a rebounding force down low.

What to watch out for

Three-point woes might continue.

Gonzaga finished the game against Oregon 9-for-28 from long range, and outside of some late Corey Kispert threes, many of those did not fall in the second half. Opponents don’t shoot the three very much against the Michigan defense. Only about a quarter of all opponents field goal attempts are three pointers, the ninth-lowest mark in the nation. Gonzaga is going to have to win this game down low.

Overall energy levels.

With Anton Watson most likely out again, Mark Few has gone with an incredibly short seven-man rotation. Kispert played 42 minutes yesterday. Ryan Woolridge played 41 and Filip Petrusev played 40. For a good chunk of the second half, it looked like Oregon was going to run away with the game as Gonzaga could not buy a shot. There was just nothing left. Everything was a few inches too short and minus a lift you could get excited about. Luckily, Oregon felt the same thing. Michigan coach Juwan Howard goes to his bench a bit quicker. Three games in three days is no joke. It will be interesting to see how each team looks at the 25 minutes mark.

Better offensive rebounding.

The Ducks almost ran away with the game because they were that much more active on the offensive glass (and just got a ton of lucky bounces). Oregon finished the game with 18 offensive boards. Luckily for Gonzaga, Michigan is not a good offensive rebounding squad. This game will be tight, so Gonzaga needs to limit every single possession they can.

Game info

  • Time: 11:00 am PT
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: Gonzaga IMG Network
  • Online: WatchESPN.com