Michigan is a 7-seed. How do you feel about this ranking?
I thought after they won the Big Ten Tournament that they could be a 6-seed, but the draw that they received as a 7-seed may be a good one for them. Should they get through Friday's game and a potential showdown with Louisville, things set up nicely for them to perhaps make an Elite Eight run.
The Wolverines are one of the hottest teams in college basketball, winning 10 of their last 12. What is the biggest factor contributing to this sudden change?
The first and most obvious is the breakout of Derrick Walton Jr., who may be the best point guard in college basketball at the moment. His scoring has gone up and he is doing a far better job of getting teammates involved and just has a swagger about him we have not quite seen in his career.
The other is defense. John Beilein said early on this year his team needed to get four or five more stops a game, and it was a work in progress, but we are seeing them do that now.
What do you know about Oklahoma State basketball this season? Who on the team worries you the most?
I know that any time you're locked in battle with the Cowboys, especially this team, you are in for a potential shootout. Michigan can be the same way, so it has the makings of an explosive day on the scoreboard. The trio of Evans, Carroll and Forte brings quite a bit of offensive punch to the table and it's going to be tough to slow them down.
You guys had quite the scare before the Big 10 Tournament with the team plane sliding off the runway. Michigan was forced to wear their practice jerseys because they had to leave their uniforms in the belly of the plane. What did you guys think of the uniforms? Do you prefer them over the regular uniforms? (We here at CRFF enjoyed them.)
As far as practice jerseys go not bad! And it will go down as a cool footnote in the story of this team and what they have been through. It would have been cool to see them keep wearing them, but Jumpman is paying them the big bucks to sport what they provided to them, and that's okay!
What do you expect this game to be? What will it take for the Wolverines to get the win?
It's as cliche as it can get, but Michigan will have to hit its outside jumpers and get stops on defense. If the offense isn't rolling, the Wolverines cannot afford to slip up on the other end of the court. The ones we expect to be high-scoring sometimes aren't, so getting stops in key moments is paramount.
How will Friday's first-round matchup play out? How far do you realistically think Michigan will advance in the tournament? If not UM, who do you have picked to win it all?
I do see Michigan winning this game because of how hot they are and have been lately. We'll see if five games in eight days last week catches up to them, but they should have a semi-home crowd on their side in Indy on Friday and I expect them to pull out the win late. I could honestly see Michigan in the Elite Eight if they get past Louisville, but I won't believe that until I see it. Cannot afford to look past this game Friday, though.
I like Kentucky to win it all this year. I'm a big fan of Fox and Monk in the backcourt and think they can ride that to a title.
I’d like to thank Anthony for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for me.
Watch the Cowboys and the Wolverines square off Friday at 11:15 a.m. CT on CBS. Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill and Tracy Wolfson will be on the call for the first game of the day.