The Badgers are back in Madison on Sunday as No. 20 Michigan comes to town. The Badgers have won 13 of the last 14 games against the Wolverines in the Kohl Center. Michigan has won the last two meetings against Wisconsin, beating them in Ann Arbor and in the Big Ten Tournament last season.
Wisconsin has the opportunity to start its first win streak in 2018, and Michigan is coming off of one of its worse losses of the year to Northwestern.
Beating Michigan will be a really tough task for the Badgers. The Wolverines boast the Big Ten’s top-ranked defense, and Wisconsin has the second-worst ranked offense. Buckets will be hard to come by for the Badgers, who will look to really slow the game down and limit possessions.
The key matchup will be two of the better big men in the Big Ten conference, Mo Wagner and Ethan Happ. Wagner played really well against the Badgers in Ann Arbor last year in what was a breakout performance for the Berlin, Germany native. Wagner scored 21 points and was 3/6 from beyond the arch. This season, Wagner is averaging 14.4 points per game, leading the team.
Michigan gives the young Badgers a chance to do something they haven’t done yet, which is getting a victory against a formidable team, one that is better than they are. There are no moral victories in sports, but for the Badgers, the 2017-18 season has been dead for awhile (barring an automatic bid if they ran the table in the Big Ten Tournament). A win over a ranked opponent would be a nice step in the right direction for one of the youngest teams in college basketball going into next year.