The Badgers (21-4, 10-2), fresh off their loss at home to Northwestern, look to rebound against the Michigan Wolverines. The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. CT.
G: D’Mitrik Trice (5.5 PPG, 1.6 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (8.0 PPG, 2.2 APG)
F: Nigel Hayes (13.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.9 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (7.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (14.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.8 APG)
G: Derrick Walton (14.7 PPG, 3.8 APG)
G: Zak Irvin (12.6 PPG, 3.2 APG)
G: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (8.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG)
F: Moritz Wagner (11.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG)
C: D.J. Wilson (10.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG)
The Badgers defeated the Wolverines at home 68-64 earlier this season, but it certainly wasn’t a comfortable game. Michigan went on a 17-2 run to put them up 38-30 in the second half and were later up six points with less than seven minutes remaining in the game.
That’s when Bronson Koenig decided to go on a tear and save the Badgers from the upset. Since that game, however, he has been struggling rather mightily – over the past five games, Koenig’s statistics are just a shell of his season averages: 8.8 PPG, 2.2 APG, and 25% FG. And with Koenig out tonight, freshman D’Mitrik Trice will step in his place.
Michigan is coming off of two wins over Michigan State and Indiana, and after being favored earlier in the week over Wisconsin, the game has even odds.
The Badgers will have to close out defensively on the three-point line. The Wolverines are third in the Big Ten in three-point shooting at 38.4%. However, they’re also dead last in three-point defense.
Zak Irvin gave Wisconsin fits in the first matchup, totaling 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan’s leading scorer and assist man, also played well against Wisconsin scoring 15 points. Walton Jr. is coming off of a 25-point game in Indiana.
“Michigan is tough because they are good at the things we try to give teams,” senior forward Vitto Brown said before the first matchup. “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.”
Michigan and Wisconsin rank sixth and seventh respectively in Big Ten points per game.
Wisconsin has won by an average margin of victory of 28.6 points after their three losses this year.