One of the better games this year in the ACC/Big Ten challenge is Michigan at Duke. This is one of the many games that Duke will play that can certainly challenge them. This could also be one of the games that decides who wins the challenge. Michigan will be going into hostile territory and Duke will be challenged with Michigan’s strong frontcourt. The game will be highlighted on ESPN on December 3rd.
Michigan’s frontcourt will start with Mitch McGary this year, and he will be their main focus. Duke will have a matchup problem with McGary, especially keeping him off the boards. Michigan will also have to deal with small forward Glenn Robinson III, who is a great rebounder for his position. This will be a challenging game for the Blue Devils and show them how far they still have to go before the tournament.
Duke will have the backcourt advantage, but they will have to get out and run to make sure they utilize this. Michigan lost their backcourt from last season, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., and will have to look to replace it. The backcourt experience advantage is with Duke because of Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon. The Blue Devils will have to take advantage of the inexperienced Wolverine backcourt if they want to defeat Michigan this season.
Duke has four seniors on their team this coming year and has a very experienced bench. They should have the advantage in all aspects of this game besides the post.
The other big aspect is that the game is in Durham, so Duke will have the home court advantage as well. This is a big advantage for Duke because of how dominant they have been at home through the years. Last season was another season that they didn’t lose a home game and they will look to continue that going into this season.
Michigan will have a challenge going against Duke this season but it will give them a good look at their team going in to their Big Ten schedule. They will be able to exploit Duke’s lack of size in the paint by rebounding; this will help Michigan but it shouldn’t be enough to beat Duke in Durham.
In this game we should see Duke struggle with McGary. They should be pressuring the ball and trying to get McGary out of the post as much as possible and keep him from getting the ball down low, if Duke can accomplish that than it should be a win for Duke.
Duke will look to run and look to penetrate the defense so McGary will have to step up. The other thing they will look to do is stretch the defense like they do so well with their three point shooters. On defense they will look to switch to try to make it harder for Michigan to find McGary. This should be a big win for Duke and will be able to show everyone that they can handle a team with a dominant big like McGary.