Michigan Basketball Gameday: No. 5 Michigan looks for NYC bid vs. Cleveland State (8 p.m., ESPN2)
• Who: Cleveland State (2-0) at No. 5 Michigan (2-0); NIT Season Tip-Off
• Tipoff: 8 p.m. at the Crisler Center (Ann Arbor)
• Live coverage: Join MLive.com 30 minutes prior to tip for live updates, and follow Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) on Twitter.
• TV: ESPN2
• Radio: Michigan Radio Network
• Line: Michigan -13 1/2
ISSUE OF THE DAY
On paper -- to steal a line from John Beilein -- this isn't your father's Cleveland State.
Two years ago the Vikings boasted a roster that featured future NBA first-round pick Norris Cole, last season CSU had a senior-laden team that dumptrucked highly-ranked Vanderbilt in the season opener. This year, though, everyone's a lot younger.
But, this program knows how to win games -- and won't be the slightest bit intimidated by a highly-ranked BCS squad. Gary Waters' teams have won 49 games over the past two seasons, not a lot of people can say that.
Point guard Charlie Lee is scrappy, and is a player -- he's averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 assists through the season's first two games. But more concerning for Michigan, possibly, is CSU's ability to hit the offensive glass. The Vikings have 29 offensive rebounds in two games -- and though Michigan now has the size to combat aggressive rebounding teams, IUPUI was able to keep the game close for a bit Monday by out-working Michigan for loose balls and 50/50 rebounds inside.
If Michigan is dialed in and ready to work on the defensive end, it'll be able to fast break early and have its ticket to Madison Square Garden and the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals punched by halftime.
But if it slows down and shows tired legs on the second half of a back-to-back situation, scrappy CSU could make things interesting in Ann Arbor.