Balance is one of the few commonalities between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes. When either team has it, they're hard to beat. When they don't, they're vulnerable.
The rivals meet for the second time this season on Tuesday night in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Michigan point guard Trey Burke and Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas need help from their teammates. In the teams' last meeting on Jan. 13, a low-scoring battle saw the Buckeyes win, 56-53, behind Thomas' 20 points, but no other OSU player scored in double figures.
In that one, Burke led the Wolverines with 15 points, but the only other player in double figures was Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 12 points on 33 percent shooting. At 20-2, Michigan is coming off its only other loss of the year, an 81-73 defeat to now-No. 1 Indiana. That knocked John Beilein's team from the No. 1 spot, and it came as Burke's 25 points on 9-of-24 shooting weren't enough.
So back to the balance issue. No. 10 Ohio State will counter Burke with stifling defender Aaron Craft, and the Buckeyes will look to recreate the same balanced attack that Indiana used against the Wolverines on Saturday -- five Hoosiers scored in double figures -- to find success.
Meanwhile, Michigan will go with highlighter yellow unis and ride a home crowd with the same mindset. Coming off a loss and having lost their last game to the Buckeyes, there's no reason the Wolverines won't be motivated.