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Wolverines and Nittany Lions clash in Big Ten brawl

The 18th-ranked Michigan Wolverines and Penn State Nittany Lions will open up their Big Ten slates this evening in Ann Arbor, as the two teams square off at Crisler Arena.

The Wolverines are 10-2 on the season with the two losses coming to a couple of tough ACC squads in Duke and Virginia. Since the loss to the Cavaliers in late November, John Beilein's squad has reeled off five straight victories, including last week's 77-66 win over Bradley. The win over the Braves moved Michigan to a perfect 7-0 in Ann Arbor this season.

Patrick Chambers' Nittany Lions are sitting at 8-5 on the year, but has yet to post a marquee victory. Penn State has posted two straight wins entering this matchup though, knocking off Mount St. Mary's and Cornell at home.

Michigan leads the series 25-11 and won both meetings a year ago.

Chambers' first season at the helm at Penn State hasn't been bad. The team has showed signs of strong play at the defensive end, making up for a lack of offensive firepower. The Nittany Lions are shooting a miserable .393 from the floor this season, resulting in just 64.0 ppg. However, the team remains competitive by holding opponents to just 61.7 ppg on 40 percent accuracy from the floor. Junior guard Tim Frazier has done it all for PSU this season, pacing the team in scoring (17.2 ppg), rebounds (5.8 rpg) and assists (7.1 apg). Jermaine Marshall and Cammeron Woodyard provide limited scoring depth at 9.5 and 8.1 ppg, respectively. The Nittany Lions hit seven three-pointers in the second half to come from behind to knock of Cornell last time out. Frazier led the way again with his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Woodyard and Trey Lewis followed with 13 points apiece, while Marshall tacked on 12.

Michigan has shown itself to be balanced at both ends of the floor. The Wolverines are shooting a healthy .490 from the floor, but averaging a modest 71.7 ppg. The defensive play has been impressive, with foes averaging just 60.8 ppg and doing so on under 40 percent shooting (.398). The team relies on the scoring trio of Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Evan Smotrycz. Hardaway leads the team in scoring at 15.4 ppg. Just a freshman, Burke has made an instant impact with his ability to both score (13.0 ppg) and distribute (team- high 5.0 apg). Smotrycz follows in the scoring column at 11.7 ppg and is the team's top rebounder (6.7 rpg). Smotrycz registered his second straight double-double, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds in Michigan's 11-point win over Bradley last time out. Hardaway poured in 16 points, followed by Jordan Morgan (15 pts), Burke (12 pts) and Zack Novak (11 pts). Burke also doled out eight assists against just one turnover.