MADISON — The Badgers, fresh off one of their very best performances of the year against Ohio State, welcome the Michigan Wolverines to the Kohl Center. The Badgers have won 16 straight games at home and will look to make it 17 against the Wolverines. The game will be televised on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. CT.
G: Bronson Koenig (14.4 PPG, 1.9 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (8.2 PPG, 2.2 APG)
F: Nigel Hayes (13.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 3.2 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (7.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (12.9 PPG, 9.2 RPG)
G: Derrick Walton Jr. (12.4 PPG, 3.7 APG)
G: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (8.0 PPG, 2.1 APG)
G: Zak Irvin (14.2 PPG, 3.7 APG)
F: D.J. Wilson (10.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG)
F: Moritz Wagner (12.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG)
Zak Irvin has been a premiere scorer Big Ten for awhile, and the Badgers are looking forward to the challenge he presents.
“He’s been a terrific scorer his whole career,” Zak Showalter said. “He’s been there forever. He walked in as a freshman and really contributed to his team. He’s comfortable with his role and he’s one of their top scorers.”
Now a senior, Irvin is the Wolverines go to guy. He leads Michigan in scoring and assisting, and he’s second in rebounding.
The Badgers also have a unique problem in the way they have to defend Michigan.
“Michigan is tough because they are good at the things we try to give teams,” senior forward Vitto Brown said. “In other words, we try to stop teams from getting open threes and getting to the lane, and the shoot pull ups, and they’re good at it.”
Although Irvin has been tough, Michigan has still struggled in Big Ten play. The Wolverines have a lackluster 2-3 record in conference, losing to Iowa, Maryland, and Illinois.
Michigan has their own version of Andy Van Vliet in the form of Moritz Wagner. The 6’11” sophomore from Berlin, Germany, averages 12.2 PPG on 47.9% shooting from deep. The near seven-footer averages less than four rebounds per game, however.
The Badgers will try to carry their amazing shooting performance from Thursday night’s win over Ohio State into Tuesday night. The Badgers shot 12/22 from beyond the arc, with Bronson Koenig hitting five by himself. Vitto Brown also had one of his best individual performances with 12 points, five rebounds, and two assists.
This matchup is the first of many winnable games for the Badgers in the Big Ten schedule. Wisconsin doesn’t face a currently ranked team until February 19th when (current) No. 25 Maryland comes to Madison.