When the Iowa Hawkeyes traveled to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines in January, they got a season-best scoring mark from senior forward Melsahn Basabe. The Hawkeyes got to the foul line more than Michigan did. They got a great all-around game from junior forward Aaron White, who stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.
None of it was enough, and the No. 17 Hawkeyes host No. 10 Michigan Saturday on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET with revenge on their mind after the 75-67 loss. Michigan, meanwhile, is looking to keep the good times going. UM has lost only a single game in its last 12: Super Bowl Sunday on the road against Indiana. That game featured Yogi Ferrell going out of his mind from behind the arc, hitting seven of his eight three-point attempts for the Hoosiers.
The two will battle for control of the pace, with Michigan running at the slower pace (62 possessions per game) and Iowa playing at a faster pace than any B1G team (70 possessions per game). Slowing down the pace hasn't hurt Michigan in the least offensively; the Wolverines have the most efficient offense in the B1G, scoring 1.17 points per possession in conference play.
Mighigan's offensive efficiency can be sourced to shot-making. As a team, UM is hitting over half of its attempts from the field. Its eFG% is best in the conference, 58.4 percent, by no small margin with Michigan State coming in second at 52.4 percent.
Nik Stauskas has been leading the way for UM with 17.3 points per game. He is shooting a blistering 44.7 percent from deep. The second-leading scorer for Michigan is Glenn Robinson III, who is hitting over 50 percent of his shots from the field, which is impressive for a perimeter player.
The outside shooting of Stauskas and the athletic slashing or Robinson III compliment each other very well for UM, but there is a third player who is scoring in double figures for the Wolverines, Caris LeVert. The 6'6 guard can affect the game in almost every way. He can distribute the ball, he can rebound and can score. The most recent game against Nebraska was a great example. He scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds while dishing out 5 assists.
Iowa's offense is pretty good in its own right, but the defense is its calling card. The defense is anchored inside by shot-blockers Jarrod Uthoff and Gabriel Olaseni. Each of them rank among the 10 best in the conference in block percentage. Olanesi plays 16 minutes per night, yet is ninth in B1G in blocks per game.
To knock off the Wolverines, Iowa is going to have to continue the trend the Seattle Seahawks set in the Super Bowl of the immovable object stopping the unstoppable force.
Here is the rest of the Top 25 schedule. All times are Eastern.
No. 3 Florida vs. Alabama (noon ESPN)
Northern Iowa vs. No. 4 Wichita State (9 p.m. ESPN2)
No. 5 San Diego State vs. Nevada (10 p.m. ESPN3)
Southern Methodist vs. No. Cincinatti (7:30 p.m. ESPNU)
No. 8 Kansas vs. West Virginia (4 p.m. ESPN)
Boston College vs. No. 11 Duke (6 p.m. ESPN)
La Salle vs. No. 13 Saint Louis (5 p.m. ESPN2)
Kansas State vs. No. 15 Texas (1:30 p.m. ESPN3)
No. 16 Iowa State vs. TCU (4 p.m. ESPN3)
Mississippi State vs. No. 18 Kentucky (1:30 p.m. ESPN3)
Texas Tech vs. No.19 Oklahoma State (9:30 p.m. ESPNU)
Georgia Tech vs. No. 20 Virginia (noon ESPN3)
No. 21 Oklahoma vs. Baylor (7 p.m. ESPN2)
No. 24 Memphis vs. No. 23 Gonzaga (9 p.m. ESPN)
No. 25 Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech (noon ESPN3)