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College Basketball Betting Preview: Michigan vs Colorado State 3/17/22

Michigan and Colorado State will break the ice on March Madness’ main slate of games on Thursday afternoon. Read to find out what to expect from this matchup.

College Basketball Betting Preview: Michigan vs Colorado State 3/17/22

The inaugural game of the 2022 March Madness bracket will be a hotly contested matchup between the Michigan Wolverines and Colorado State Rams. The two teams will face each other on Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis. 

Michigan is coming in as the 11 seed with Colorado State at 6. Despite the seeding, there’s a lot of reason to like the Wolverines in this matchup, but this is anybody’s game going in.

Game Preview 

Michigan went just 17-14 overall this season but had one of the hardest strengths of schedule and went 11-9 against the Big Ten and were a consistent 10-5 at home. This game being in Indianapolis certainly bodes well for Michigan as it will practically be a home game with Wolverine fans easily able to make the trek.

That by no means should sway bettors away from Colorado State, however. The Rams had a very impressive regular season campaign, finishing 25-5 overall and 14-4 against the Mountain West conference. Colorado State undeniably plays in a conference whose skill level is not as great as that of the Big Ten, but this team is nothing to be scoffed at. 

They took down ranked opponents in Mountain West conference champion Boise State twice as well as an impressive Saint Mary’s squad. Their leading scorer is guard David Roddy who is averaging 19.4 per game and also leading the team in rebounds and blocks per game. 

Roddy also leads the Rams in total field goals made (217), 3 pointers made (45) and points (582). Simply put, the Rams’ offense runs through Roddy and their ability to win on Thursday will depend on Roddy creating scoring opportunities for his team. Guard Isiah Stevens has also been solid as he is the team leader in assists per game and steals per game and the team leader in total minutes.

On Michigan’s side it’s been a frustrating season but they’ve grinded it out and are in a position where they can definitely win on Thursday. Michigan’s biggest win of the season was undoubtedly their 82-58 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers in February which they followed up with a road victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes a week after that.

Their best player is sophomore center Hunter Dickinson who is the Wolverines’ leader in points per game, rebounds per game and blocks per game. He’s also the team leader in total field goals made (218) and points (531). 

Michigan suffered a huge blow on Wednesday, however, when it was announced that point guard DeVante’ Jones will be out against Colorado State due to concussion protocols. Jones is third on the team in both points per game and total points, so that’s definitely a factor to consider heading into this matchup. 


This one is a toss-up right now. Betting on Michigan is completely understandable, but the Wolverines can’t rest on their laurels. Michigan is a slight favorite right now at -120 with a 1.5 point spread, so Vegas really has this as anyone’s game.

Colorado State is a seriously underrated team, however, and they had a much better regular season than Michigan on paper. If you’re looking for good value out of your bet, go with the Rams. Colorado State is +100 and all they need to do is keep it close for Michigan bettors to be sweating.

DeVante Jones being out is a significant blow to Michigan’s chances, but it’s important to remember that the Wolverines braved one of the toughest schedules in college basketball to be here. 

Juwan Howard’s squad might as well have home-court for this one and play in the better conference. 

Final score prediction: Michigan 77, Colorado State 71


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