After each winning in very different ways in the Round of 32, third-seeded Michigan and No. 7 Texas A&M will battle it out in a Sweet 16 matchup at the Staples Center on Thursday night.
The game is scheduled to start at about 7:37 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on TBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch the game, as well as other NCAA tournament games, live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live channels, including TBS and CBS. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: TBS is included in all of DirecTV Now’s four main channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get a free Amazon Fire TV if you prepay one month. Once signed up, you can watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: TBS is included in both the “Sling Blue” and “Sling Orange” channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
Note: You can also watch any tournament game on your computer via the March Madness Live website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the March Madness Live app. To watch these streams, you’ll have a free preview before needing to sign in to a TV provider to keep watching, but if you don’t have cable, you can do this by logging in with your Hulu credentials.
The West region has opened up somewhat favorably for Michigan, who have now won 11 in a row after Jordan Poole’s buzzer-beater pushed the Wolverines past Houston in unbelievable fashion in the Round of 32. According to Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted efficiency rankings, Michigan (10th in the country) is the second-best team remaining in the West, only a couple spots behind Gonzaga (seventh) and well ahead of Texas A&M (25th).
That said, we’ve seen time and time again this tournament that rankings and seeds and odds hardly matter once the ball is tipped. And though Michigan is favored by three points, Texas A&M is undoubtedly dangerous.
The Aggies, who climbed to as high as fifth in the AP poll back in December, have dealt with inconsistency and off-court troubles but have never lacked in the talent department, and now the latter is finally shining through on a consistent basis. Their main calling card is defense, as they have the length, athleticism and shot-blockers all over the court to make opponents very uncomfortable. Defending national champion North Carolina found that out the hard way in the second round, as Billy Kennedy’s squad held the Heels to just 0.83 points per possession (UNC’s second-worst mark of the season), blocked eight shots and rolled to an 86-65 drubbing.
Of course, if there’s someone capable of putting together a game-plan to pick apart that defense, it’s probably John Beilein. When his team is clicking, they spread defenses out, are constantly in motion, move the ball quickly and light it up from deep. If they can shoot the ball like they did during the Big Ten tournament (28-of-71 from deep against Nebraska, Michigan State and Purdue), they have the ability to negate Texas A&M’s advantage in size and length.
Ultimately, you have two elite defensive teams that have shown the propensity in the last month to get hot on the offensive end. You have a team in Texas A&M that was one of the most impressive during the first week, and you have a Michigan team that may have struggled against Houston but looked like one of the best teams in the country just a week earlier. Both of these teams have Final Four potential, and this should be a really entertaining Sweet 16 matchup.
Source: Heavy Sports