• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NCAA BB
  • NCAA FB

Central Michigan vs Michigan

Time: 07:00 P.M. EST
  •  

Michigan is one of the country's four remaining unbeaten teams and will be heading into conference play next week among the favorites in a loaded Big Ten.

Off to their best start since they last won an outright conference title 27 years ago, the second-ranked Wolverines will get their final non-conference tuneup Saturday night against visiting Central Michigan.

The last time Michigan (12-0) began a season this well was 1985-86, when it started 16-0 on its way to a 28-5 overall mark while being ranked in the top 10 all season.

The current squad has used a combination of explosive offense and disciplined defense to earn its highest ranking since the Fab Five reached No. 1 in 1992-93. The Wolverines rank among the national leaders in field-goal shooting (51.1 percent) and points allowed (57.3 per game).

Michigan hit 12 of its 24 3-point attempts and held Eastern Michigan to 35.5 percent from the floor in a 93-54 victory Dec. 20 in its last game. It was the third time the Wolverines have eclipsed the 90-point mark during the program's longest win streak since a 13-game run in 2002-03.

"I really like winning," coach John Beilein said. "It beats the alternative."

Doing so in Big Ten play may be a bit more difficult given five other teams - Indiana (5), Ohio State (10), Minnesota (11), Illinois (12) and Michigan State (19) - currently are ranked in the top 20.

The Wolverines open conference play Thursday at Northwestern.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Beilein said.

Michigan's backcourt has been key to its success. Trey Burke (team-high 17.4 points per game) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.8) are the team's top scorers, while freshman Nik Stauskas is averaging 13.8 points since being inserted into the starting lineup Dec. 1.

The knock on Hardaway has been his lack of passing skills, but he dished out a career-high seven assists in the team's last contest.

"I'm trying to mix up my game because I don't want to be just a 3-point shooter," said Hardaway, who totaled 10 assists in Michigan's first six games. "There are more things I can do to score the ball, and there are things I can do to make passes."

Central Michigan will be facing a vastly different Wolverines team than the one it defeated 78-67 in the last meeting Dec. 15, 2007. That game came during Beilein's first season at the helm and Michigan finished 10-22.

The Chippewas (7-5) have little chance of pulling off a major upset, having lost their last three games against Top 25 foes by an average of 27.0 points. They have only one victory over a major conference team since that Michigan win - against South Florida in 2009.

Central Michigan is shooting 40.2 percent from the field after hitting 32.8 on Sunday, but a strong defensive effort helped the Chippewas beat Arkansas Pine-Bluff 62-45 to earn third place in the Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas.

Central set season bests in points allowed and field-goal percentage defense (30.4).

"I know it sounds like a broken record the way we say we keep finding ways to win, but on a night when we shoot 33 percent, we rebound and we defend," coach Keno Davis told the program's official website.

Senior guard Kyle Randall is the only Chippewa scoring in double figures at 15.9 points per game, but he's shooting 38.1 percent.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
College Basketball Current Odds
GameCurrent Line
Central Michigan
@ Michigan
 
-28
Mid-American
EastConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Buffalo0-07-222
Kent St.0-08-3134
Bowling Green0-07-3115
Akron0-07-4129
Ohio0-04-6226
Miami (Ohio)0-03-8288
WestConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
C. Michigan0-09-1124
E. Michigan0-011-298
Toledo0-07-4181
W. Michigan0-07-4196
N. Illinois0-04-5281
Ball St.0-04-6279
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Maryland0-012-137
Penn St.0-012-138
Wisconsin0-011-19
Minnesota0-011-266
Ohio St.0-010-261
Illinois0-010-356
Indiana0-010-3110
Iowa0-09-4103
Michigan St.0-09-476
Northwestern0-09-4130
Nebraska0-08-4106
Purdue0-08-5146
Rutgers0-08-5100
Michigan0-07-5154

Related Video

December 24, 2014
3 Arizona at UNLV recap (2:51)
December 23, 2014
Georgia Tech at Dayton recap
(2:16)
December 20, 2014
Calipari and Cauley-Stein on dominant win over UCLA
(1:53)
December 20, 2014
No. 1 Kentucky vs. UCLA highlights
(0:59)
 

CBSSports.com Shop

 
 
 
Other Games
WMU 68 Final
NCST 84
SACL 77 Final
DUKE 90
UNLV 73 Final
UNC 79
AUB 79 Final
ILL 81
UK 77 Final
LOU 80
CHST 44 Final
OHST 87
AF 61 Final
FLA 78
AST 36 Final
SYR 57
UMKC 44 Final
KSU 52
AMER 57 Final
KAN 89
BUT 68 Final
VAN 49
EVAN 70 Final
CREI 87