On Monday night, the women’s basketball team of Michigan will play from Vilanov in the 1/8 finals. For Wolverine, this is the last hurdle on the way to Sweet Sixteen for the second time in the program’s history. For Wildcats this is a chance to come out in Sweet Sixteen for the first time in the program’s history.
Michigan has rooted its identity in its defense and strong attack since the attack, with top forwards Naz Hillman and Emily Keezer in the paint. The Wildcats are more movement-oriented, playing a heavy 5-out style with forward Maddie Sigrist.
On the eve of the game The Daily explores the figures for the seasons of Michigan and Villan.
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Overall, the Michigan attack is playing up its strengths with Hillman in the paint, as opposed to Louisville’s more focused efforts. But Wolverine protection was strengthened as needed. Senior wing Leiga Brown returned to action after injury, and junior guard Maddie Nolan found her groove behind the 3-point line, their attack has strong depth.
“She kills well, she’s great at basketball, but the energy and passion she plays with is beyond measure,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arica. “It just makes a difference. And when she’s not playing, she does it sideways. But when she’s on the court, it’s just contagious. “
Earlier, “Wolverines” moved to Louisville on an early list without a conference, fighting against the external shooters of the “Cardinals”. Games against Baylor or Tennessee will be the best games for Michigan as they will be able to turn on the paint.
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The key to Wolverine entering the face-to-face game with the Wildcats is a rebound. Michigan barely leads Vilyanov in most other categories, but the difference in rebounds is significant. With Wildcats ’style of movement in attacks they don’t have many players beating the glass for offensive rebounds. If the Wolverines are able to use their typical bounce skill level, the boards could be a deciding factor in Monday’s game.
“I’ll just say that great players like (Hillmon) don’t defend like she does,” Vilanova coach Denise Dylan said. “… It’s a rebound factor. Kicks from other players for them, (Hillmon) just found themselves in a great position to bounce. … It’s not about stopping her, it’s just about holding back, challenging a few shots, and then stopping other players. “
The only area where the Wildcats are ahead of Michigan is assists. Villanova’s style of attack creates a quick movement of the ball and forces everyone on the floor to participate in the scoring attack. This makes defending the floor difficult for opposing teams, and Wildcats ’game plan of pulling Hillmon and Kieser out of the paint to protect their guards won’t let them break away from the position.
“I mean, it’s a unique style (of attack),” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arica said. “A lot of people are mad when you have to play against it because it’s a 5-out and everyone is shooting and it’s hard to defend.”