Michigan and Rutgers are looking to bounce back from close road losses in their last games. But they have far different hopes when it comes to beyond the regular season.
While Rutgers (13-15, 2-13 Big Ten) is at the bottom of the league standings, Michigan (17-10, 7-7) still is trying to shore up an NCAA Tournament bid. A loss to Rutgers, even on the road, would be damaging to those postseason hopes.
The Wolverines had won three straight before losing 83-78 in overtime on Sunday night at Minnesota. Rutgers has lost four in a row, and 14 of 16, the most recent loss 69-65 last Saturday at Northwestern. Despite their struggles, the Scarlet Knights already have won six more games this season with first-year coach Steve Pikiell than they won all last season.
Michigan is 9-0 all time against Rutgers.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch/listen to the Michigan at Rutgers matchup:
Michigan at Rutgers: game time, details
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET tip-off
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22
Location: Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, N.J.
The line: Michigan is favored by 7.5 points.
Which TV channel station is Michigan at Rutgers on?
The game will be broadcast on BTN.
How can I watch Michigan at Rutgers online?
How can I listen to Michigan at Rutgers on the radio?
For Michigan: 950 AM (WWJ-Detroit), 102.9 FM (WWWW-Ann Arbor) and 1050 AM (WTKA-Ann Arbor) are the primary stations for the U-M Radio. Click here for other Michigan radio affiliates.
For Rutgers: Rutgers IMG Sports Network, WOR 710 AM/WCTC 1450 AM and WRSU 88.7 FM.
It also can be heard on Sirius Channel 134, XM Channel 195 and Internet Channel 957.
Who is calling the Michigan at Rutgers game?
Brandon Gaudin will handle play-by-play for BTN with analyst Shon Morris. Matt Shepard will handle the play-by-play duties with analyst Terry Mills on the U-M Radio Network. Jerry Recco does play-by-play for Rutgers, with analyst Joe Boylan.
Three keys to the Michigan at Rutgers game
Battle of the guards
Senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. leads Michigan with a 14.4-point average. Corey Sanders is scoring 13 points per game for Rutgers. Walton had a streak of five straight 20-point games, but his shooting has cooled off in the last two games. He is 7 of 23 from the field in those games, including 4 of 13 on 3-point attempts, for a total of 21 points. The Wolverines start their offense through Walton and would like to see him get off to a fast start.
Sanders has scored in double figures in 41 of his 55 career games at Rutgers. He is averaging 15.1 points in conference games this season. He’s scored a season-high 25 points twice: against Nebraska and at Penn State. Those are Rutgers’ two Big Ten wins.
Rebound, rebound, rebound
The Wolverines aren’t the best on the boards and Minnesota exploited that weakness, especially on the offensive end. Minnesota outrebounded Michigan 13-3 on the offensive boards, which led to a 19-0 Minnesota advantage on second-chance points. Rutgers averages 15 offensive rebounds per game, which is No. 3 nationally. The Scarlet Knights are fourth nationally in overall rebounding, averaging 41.11 per game.
Junior forward Deshawn Freeman leads Rutgers averaging 8.0 per game, which is sixth in the Big Ten. He’s tied for second in the conference, averaging 3 offensive boards per game. Freeman has 10 double-doubles this season, the most by a Rutgers player since 2002.
Looking for No. 500
Michigan coach John Beilein has 499 wins in 25 seasons as a Division-I head coach, including 206 in his 10 seasons at Michigan. One more win not only gets Michigan closer to the NCAA Tournament but it will make him the 65th coach in Division-I history to achieve the 500-win plateau. Beilein has won 757 games overall in 39 seasons as a college head coach.