Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Pick & Prediction JANUARY 12th 2023

Stadium: Carver-Hawkeye Arena Iowa City
Logo Michigan Wolverines
Logo Iowa Hawkeyes

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It's been an up-and-down first half for both Michigan and Iowa, but their peaks and valleys have come in different forms heading into Thursday night's Big Ten Conference contest in Iowa City.

Michigan is trying to use the Big Ten season to right a ship that went off course during its nonconference schedule.

The Wolverines didn't get a signature win and lost five games against non-Big Ten opponents, the worst being a home loss to Central Michigan on Dec. 29.

But Michigan (9-6, 3-1) has rebounded in conference play heading into its only meeting of the season with Iowa (10-6, 2-3).

The Wolverines absorbed a 59-53 setback at rival Michigan State on Saturday for their first loss in conference play.

Michigan is trying to forge on with young guards such as freshmen Dug McDaniel and Jett Howard, and sophomore Kobe Bufkin, shouldering the ballhandling and playmaking roles after senior Jaelin Llewellyn suffered a season-ending knee injury against Kentucky on Dec. 4.

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"Belief and trust in our locker room and also on that roster, it's real," Michigan head coach Juwan Howard said. "Whoever goes in the game, we know it's going to be next man up mentality."

Michigan still has an All-American candidate at center in junior Hunter Dickinson, who is averaging 18.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Iowa, meanwhile, comes in having earned some key nonconference wins before struggling a bit in league play.

The Hawkeyes lost their first three Big Ten games before posting consecutive wins over Indiana at home and at Rutgers.

While Iowa features an All-American candidate in Kris Murray (21.3 points per game), the biggest revelation in the 76-65 win at Rutgers on Sunday was the play of sophomore guard Payton Sandfort, who scored 22 points after missing all 19 of his shot attempts in Iowa's three Big Ten losses.

If Sandfort can keep it up, it will add another weapon for Iowa to rely on.

"When he's hot like that, he can do that," Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. "I've seen him do that many times."

--Field Level Media

Michigan Wolverines
Iowa Hawkeyes

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Luka Garza had another big offensive game against 19th-ranked Michigan, scoring 33 points as Iowa downed the Wolverines 90-83 on Friday in Iowa City.

Garza, a junior who made 10 of 18 field-goal attempts and 11 of 13 free throws, had a career-high 44 points against the Wolverines last month in a loss at Ann Arbor.

Freshman CJ Fredrick tied his career high with 21 points on Friday, Joe Wieskamp contributed 20 points, and Ryan Kriener added 14 for the Hawkeyes (13-5, 4-3 Big Ten).

Junior Eli Brooks scored a career-high 25 points for Michigan (11-6, 2-4), which remained winless on the road in conference play. Franz Wagner had 18 points, Jon Teske tossed in 14, and David DeJulius chipped in 10.

The Wolverines grabbed a 16-9 lead in the early going. The Hawkeyes responded with an 18-2 run fueled by 11 points from Kriener.

Wieskamp gave Iowa its biggest lead of the half at 33-22 on a 3-pointer, but Michigan gradually chipped away during the next eight minutes. DeJulius made a layup just before the half ended to cut Iowa's advantage to 47-43.

Michigan tied at 47-all with a Wagner layup. Iowa then took a six-point lead with an 8-2 spurt capped by two Garza free throws.

Wieskamp made two free throws with 15:26 left after Michigan coach Juwan Howard was assessed a technical foul.

Brooks soon hit a pair of 3-pointers, pulling the Wolverines within 61-58. Wagner then made two baskets to put Michigan in front 62-61.

DeJulius' layup with 11:33 left gave the Wolverines a 66-63 lead. Wagner bounced in a 3-pointer to double the advantage.

Garza started a 10-0 Iowa run with five consecutive points. Fredrick's 3-pointer moved the Hawkeyes into the lead with 5:28 to go, and Garza finished off the surge with a layup.

After Michigan crept within one, Kriener knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:05 left to give Iowa an 83-79 lead. Garza made a short jumper with 1:36 remaining for a six-point advantage. Wieskamp added two free throws with 37 seconds to go.

--Field Level Media