New Opponent, Same Issue for Michigan in Elite Eight

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Jordan MorganINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 29, 2014) — For a second straight year, Michigan has advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. For the third game in a row, people are asking if Michigan can handle its opponent’s size advantage.

Michigan was able to overcome a size disparity in its third-round game against Texas, and in the Midwest Regional Semifinal against Tennessee. However, Kentucky poses a different set of problems with its size.

“Tennessee’s guys were kind of like big bruisers,” said Michigan guard Spike Albrecht. “Where as Kentucky’s guys, they’re big. They’re athletic. They’ve got good feet.”

The man who epitomizes the difference between Kentucky’s size skill-set and the other teams Michigan has faced so far is Julius Randle. Randle stands 6-feet-9 and can beat you both inside and outside.

“You know he’ll start at the three-point line and he can put it on the floor and take a couple dribbles, spin move, and finish,” said Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III, who is expected to guard Randle on Sunday. “So one thing I’m going to have to do is treat him like a guard and be able to guard him out in the perimeter and knowing that he will attack the rim.”

Michigan will play Kentucky at 5:05 p.m. in the Midwest Regional Final on Sunday in Indianapolis. The winner advances to next week’s Final Four in Dallas.

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