March Madness 2022: Michigan vs. Colorado State predictions

The Detroit News

James Hawkins, Matt Charboneau, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Thursday’s NCAA Tournament game between Michigan and Colorado State in Indianapolis (12:15 p.m., CBS/950).

Scouting report: Michigan vs. Colorado State

Michigan center Hunter Dickinson.

Matt Charboneau: Before the news broke that Michigan point guard DeVante Jones would miss the game, the Wolverines were a popular "upset" pick that was easy to get behind. But the Wolverines were a bubble team for a reason and it's fair to wonder how much Jones' absence will affect them. Michigan is playing in Indianapolis and has a decided size advantage, but David Roddy is a high-level player that the Wolverines will have a hard time guarding. The Rams are an efficient offense and have what it takes to prove they've earned their seeding. Colorado State, 74-68 

James Hawkins: This game should be an interesting chess match since neither team seems to have an answer defensively for the other team’s star player. Colorado State doesn’t have the size to combat Hunter Dickinson. Michigan won’t have an easy solution to slow down David Roddy. This is the type of contest that figures to come down to whichever team makes better use of its matchup advantages, and Dickinson is a pretty big one. Michigan, 72-70

John Niyo: This seems like a bad matchup for both teams, but it gets considerably worse for Michigan without DeVante' Jones. Colorado State doesn’t have someone who can defend Hunter Dickinson in the post, or to keep Moussa Diabate off the offensive glass. But Michigan isn’t all that well-equipped to deal with David Roddy and the Rams’ floor-spacing offense at the other end of the court. This game probably will come down to how — and how well — both teams play their ball-screen defense. And while Michigan should get plenty of open looks from three, can they make them count? Colorado State, 63-61

Bob Wojnowski: The Wolverines are bigger, led by 7-1 Hunter Dickinson. The Rams are deeper with better shooting, and have their own matchup advantage in 6-6, 255-pound David Roddy. It’s pretty simple, really. Michigan needs to power inside with Dickinson and Moussa Diabate, while Colorado State will play deliberate, efficient offense. Michigan will be without starting PG DeVante’ Jones (concussion), a significant loss. Senior Eli Brooks and freshman Frankie Collins will have to run the floor game, and the Wolverines better be prepared to handle Roddy, a future NBA player. The Rams are 25-5 and by seeding should be favored, but aren't. In Jones’ absence, Diabate’s athleticism at the rim will be the difference. Michigan, 75-70