When: 9:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Smith Arena, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Radio: WWJ-AM (950; more radio affiliates).
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• Box score
Michigan Wolverines forward Moussa Diabate (14) is defended by Tarleton State Texans guard Freddy Hicks in the first half at Crisler Center on Nov. 24, 2021.
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Game notes: The men’s half of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge wraps up tonight and the Big Ten enters Wednesday’s six-game slate with a commanding 6-2 lead. (Does it matter? The folks in Columbus stormed the court after beating Duke on Tuesday night.) Can the Big Ten win its third straight Challenge? (The ACC actually hasn’t won since 2017 — the conferences tied, 7-7, in 2018.) It may already be decided by the time this matchup of college basketball blue bloods tips off.
The Wolverines haven’t exactly looked like a blue blood so far this season, though their 11-point win over Tarleton State on Thanksgiving eve was validated slightly by the Texans’ sprightly play against No. 1 Gonzaga in a single-digit loss.
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Still, the early part of the season is all about finding out what — or who — works. Like freshman big man Moussa Diabate, who is averaging 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds in the Wolverines’ six games so far. Or fellow freshman Caleb Houstan, averaging 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds.
After Wednesday’s game against the Tar Heels — their opponent in the 1993 national title game — the Wolverines will host San Diego State on Saturday. The Aztecs are led by coach Brian Dutcher, an assistant on that 1993 U-M squad as well as the 1989 team that won it all, so expect a few flashbacks on CBS, good and bad, during the game.
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Contact Ryan Ford at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @theford.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan basketball loses to North Carolina, 72-51: Game thread