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9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Dec 8, 2018
Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan  Attendance: 12,707

South Carolina hopes to slow down hot No. 5 Michigan

No. 5 Michigan and South Carolina will clash on Saturday, and in a rare occurrence for nonconference foes, it could have been their second meeting of the season.

Both teams competed at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut last month, and if South Carolina had beaten Providence in one semifinal, it would have played Michigan in the championship game.

But that didn't happen, as Providence beat the Gamecocks and ultimately lost in championship game to Michigan. Thus Saturday's noon contest in Ann Arbor, Mich., which was already on the schedule, will be the only time the two teams play during the regular season.

The game is a return trip by South Carolina to Michigan, which played at Columbia, S.C., in 2016.

South Carolina easily won that game, but the teams are headed in opposite directions now.

Michigan remains one of the country's hottest teams, having won 23 out of its last 24 games dating back to last season and getting off to a 9-0 start this season.

The Wolverines won their first eight games by an average of more than 21 points, but proved they could grind out a close game when they won at Northwestern on Tuesday, 62-60.

"They really took it to us two years ago," Michigan head coach John Beilein said of South Carolina. "We don't have many guys on that team who are left, but they ended up being a Final Four team so they were pretty good. We are going to have to be ready to meet a very strong team that will really challenge us for all 40 minutes."

South Carolina enters with a 4-4 record and has alternated losses and wins through the first eight games.

Coming off a 73-64 loss at Wyoming on Wednesday, the Gamecocks will actually beat Michigan if their pattern of lose-win continues, but beating the Wolverines obviously will be a monumental task.

The Gamecocks were outscored in the second half by Wyoming 40-27, and they have struggled with some growing pains so far this year.

"We didn't play very intelligent basketball," South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said following the loss to Wyoming. "We allowed missing shots to impact our defense. We never ran when they missed shots. Never once, did we ever come up with a defensive rebound. When you go on the road, you have to have leadership."

South Carolina is a young team that starts three freshmen in guard A.J. Lawson, guard T.J. Moss and forward Keyshawn Bryant. Lawson leads South Carolina in scoring, averaging 14.9 points a game.

Michigan has a freshman sensation in its own in Ignas Brazdeikis, who is leading the Wolverines in scoring at 17.0 points a game.

Brazdeikis was the focal point of the offense against Northwestern when he scored a team-high 23 points.

South Carolina is averaging 74.2 points a game this season, but getting to that number will be a chore against Michigan, which is allowing opponents to score an average of 52.7 points a game, which ranks third in the country.

Updated December 7, 2018

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