Indiana basketball: Three Wolverines to mark before Saturday’s showdown

Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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A matchup between two of the three second-place teams in the Big Ten on Saturday, as No. 18 Indiana basketball faces the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor.

The Hoosiers lead the all-time series over Michigan 108-65 (.624) and snapped their nine-game losing streak against the Wolverines with their 74-69 win in the 2022 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on March 10.

Indiana basketball has lost eight straight regular season games against Michigan and has not won a game in Ann Arbor since beating Michigan on February 2, 2016, 80-67. That was also the last time the Hoosiers were ranked and the Wolverines were unranked in a game in Ann Arbor. Could we see a repeat performance?

This year’s Michigan team has been very inconsistent and hard to read. One thing is for sure, they are pretty good at home. Holding a home record of 10-3 (.769), with two of their three losses coming against now-ranked No. 8 Virginia and No. 1 Purdue by a combined seven points.

Here are my three key Michigan Wolverines that the Hoosiers need to mark for Saturday’s showdown in Ann Arbor:

About the Author. Connor O'Keefe. light

Three Wolverines for Indiana basketball to mark before Saturday:

Indiana basketball
Michigan Wolverines guard Kobe Bufkin (2), Indiana Hoosiers forward Jordan Geronimo (22). Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Kobe Bufkin – Sophomore Guard – #2

2022-23 stats: 24 GP, 32.2 MIN, 12.3 PPG, 4.6 REB, 3.1 AST, 1.3 STL, 1.0 3PM, 29.5 3P%

After a freshman season where Bufkin started zero games and averaged just 10.6 minutes and 3.0 points, the sophomore guard has completely improved his game and has logged 13 double-digit scoring performances, including three 20-point games.

The sophomore guard has been playing well at home recently, averaging 14.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists over his last six games, which resulted in a record of 5-1 for Michigan with their only loss coming against No. 1 Purdue in that span.

Bufkin has been playing well all around in his last three games, averaging 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists. During those three games, which all resulted in wins for the Wolverines, the guard is shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Jalen Hood-Schifino needs to be able to limit Bufkin as a playmaker for the Hoosiers to have a chance to win this game in Ann Arbor.