Michigan opens as 11-point favorite for NCAA tournament matchup against South Dakota State
And the high-scoring Jackrabbits have NCAA tournament experience, too, after giving third-seeded Baylor a run last year before falling 68-60 in its opening game.
They aren't a typical No. 13 seed, and could pose problems for Michigan if shots are dropping. But the oddsmakers think that won't be the case.
No. 4 seed Michigan (26-7) has opened as an 11-point favorite for its NCAA tournament matchup Thursday against No. 13 seed South Dakota State (25-9), according to noted oddsmaker R.J. Bell.
That's not as big as fellow No. 4 seed Syracuse's 14-point spread against Montana, but is larger than St. Louis' 10.5-point margin against New Mexico State. Odds for the other 4-13 game have not been announced because Boise State and La Salle must play in to face No. 4 seed Kansas State.
Of course, the Wolverines were heavily favored as a fourth seed last year as well, and that didn't turn out so well. They fell 65-60 against 13th-seed Ohio, the biggest upset in the school's tournament history.
Coach John Beilein indicated Sunday night that Michigan struggled with being the heavy favorite last year, playing more "not to lose" than "to win."
The Wolverines again are a heavy favorite, likely boosted by playing 55 miles from campus in Auburn Hills, and will hope to live up to them this time.
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