North Carolina State at Michigan Wolverines (-5.5, 136)
Fresh off the first NIT Season Tip-Off title in school history, third-ranked Michigan looks to continue its dominant start to the season when it hosts No. 18 North Carolina State on Tuesday in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Wolverines are coming off a 71-57 victory over Kansas State in the championship game at Madison Square Garden on Friday, and they've won their first five games by an average of 24.8 points. The Wolfpack have hit a disappointing patch; after a 20-point loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 18, they barely squeaked out an 82-80 home victory over UNC Asheville on Friday.
The teams are meeting for the sixth time (N.C. State leads 3-2) and the third time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Wolverines won 68-61 at home in 2003, and the Wolfpack won 74-67 at home in 2006 - their last win in the event before losing four straight. Michigan is 4-7 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 70-58 loss last season at Virginia, while N.C. State is 5-7 in the event after an 86-75 home loss to Indiana last year.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN3.com
ABOUT N.C. STATE (4-1, 3-1 ATS): The Wolfpack haven't beaten a top five team since 2007, and they'll have to improve dramatically on Friday's performance to end that drought. Senior forward Richard Howell carried the team with 23 points and 15 rebounds against UNC Asheville, posting his 15th career double-double to help the Wolfpack rally late and avoid an embarrassing loss. Howell (14.6 points, 8.4 rebounds) is one of six players averaging double-digit scoring along with freshman reserve T.J. Warren (14.8 points), junior point guard Lorenzo Brown (11.4 points, 5.2 assists), junior forward C.J. Leslie (10.8 points, seven rebounds), freshman guard Rodney Purvis (10.8 points) and senior forward Scott Wood (10.6 points).
ABOUT MICHIGAN (5-0, 3-0 ATS): The Wolverines, who will reveal their 2012 Big Ten regular season championship banner before the game, are ranked the highest they've been since the 1993-94 season. Leading the resurgence are junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (18.2 points, 6.8 rebounds), who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NIT Season Tip-Off, and sophomore point guard Trey Burke (16.4 points, 6.8 assists), who was named to the all-tournament team. Freshman forward Glenn Robinson III (12.4 points, 7.6 rebounds) has made an immediate impact and fellow freshman Nik Stauskas (11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds) has been a major contributor off the bench. The Wolverines have been dominant at the defensive end, holding opponents to 55 points per game.
* Wolfpack are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games.
* Wolverines are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games.
* Over is 9-3-1 in Wolverines' last 13 non-conference games.
* Under is 4-1 in Wolfpack's last five non-conference games.
1. Hardaway and Burke have scored in double figures in all five of Michigan's games.
2. N.C. State's bench averages 24.4 points, 10 more than its opponents' reserves.
3. Michigan is 20-0 when scoring 80 or more points and 56-4 when scoring 70 or more under sixth-year coach John Beilein.