Busting Brackets
Fansided

NCAA Tournament: Strengths and weaknesses of top 16 overall seeds

Signs on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium promote the NCAA March Madness tournament on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Indianapolis.Ncaa March Madness And Big Ten Basketball Courts Inside Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis March 4 2021
Signs on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium promote the NCAA March Madness tournament on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Indianapolis.Ncaa March Madness And Big Ten Basketball Courts Inside Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis March 4 2021 /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
14 of 17
Next
NCAA Tournament Isaiah Livers Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
NCAA Tournament Isaiah Livers Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Michigan Wolverines: 20-4 (14-3)

Weakness

The Wolverines completed a very successful season in a very difficult conference and they almost made it out unscathed. Prior to Mar. 13, 2021, finding a weakness with the Wolverines would have been reduced to criticizing perhaps the best thing they have going.

Now, however, with the injury to Isaiah Livers, the Wolverines are more vulnerable than ever before. Having played just one game without Livers and it being on a day’s notice the impact is unknown. In their game versus Ohio State without Livers; they lost, scored six fewer points than their conference average, and had their second-worst shooting performance.

The known weakness the Wolverines have is Hunter Dickinson’s ability to play versus big strong centers. At 7’1 Dickinson has been able to do pretty much what he wants in the post, except versus Kofi Cockburn. Cockburn is an abnormality, but  Dickinson also struggled against senior Galin Smith at 6’9 /240 for Maryland and the frontcourt combo of 6’10 / 265 Trevion Williams and 7’4 Zach Edey.

Strength 

The Wolverines proved time and time again that they get it done and they will play for Juwan Howard. This strength shows in their hustle stats as a top-20 defensive rebounding team, and how they work to get quality shots as they shoot 48 percent from the field. Hustle and decision-making are qualities that the Wolverines will continue to demonstrate with or without Livers in the lineup.

Livers may have been their top three-point shooter, but his absence means more three-pointers available for Franz Wagner and Eli Brooks. The majority of Livers stats will be distributed among the others, especially with Big Ten Freshman of the Year Hunter Dickinson continuing to occupy the defense’s attention. While older, bigger, and stronger centers can shut down Dickinson, finding somebody who possesses all three is rare.