Preview: No.3 Michigan at Wisconsin

Three days after its double overtime thriller against Iowa, Wisconsin will eye first place in the Big Ten when it hosts No.3 Michigan Saturday at the Kohl center.

No.3 Michigan (21-2, 8-2 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (16-7, 7-3 Big Ten)

Date/Time -Saturday, February 9, 11 a.m. Central

Arena –Kohl Center (17,249)

Television - ESPN (Bob Wischusen and Dan Dakich)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – Michigan leads 90-64 (Wisconsin leads 41-34 in Madison)

Last Meeting - Michigan won, 59-41, on January 8, 2012 in Ann Arbor

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Junior Guard, 11.0 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Senior Forward, 10.8 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Sophomore Guard, 6.1 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Senior Forward, 7.1 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Senior Forward, 11.8 ppg)

Off the Bench

3 George Marshall (5-11 Freshman Guard, 5.1 ppg)

15 Sam Dekker (6-7 Freshman Forward, 8.7 ppg)

32 Zak Showalter (6-2 Freshman Guard, 2.1 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Sophomore Forward, 5.1 ppg)

Michigan Probable Starters

1 Glenn Robinson III (6-6 Freshman Forward, 11.6 ppg)

3 Trey Burke (6-0 Sophomore Guard, 18.1 ppg)

10 Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-6 Junior Guard, 16.0 ppg)

11 Nik Stauskas (6-6 Freshman Guard, 12.4 ppg)

15 Jon Horford (6-10 Sophomore Forward, 2.7 ppg)

Off the Bench

4 Mitch McGary (6-10 Freshman Forward, 6.1 ppg)

23 Caris LeVert (6-5 Freshman Guard, 2.9 ppg)

52 Jordan Morgan (6-8 Junior Forward, 5.8 ppg)

Last Time Out

MADISON (BadgerNation) - Berggren finished with 16 points and career highs in rebounds (14) and blocks (7) as Wisconsin earned a vital 74-70 double overtime win over Iowa Wednesday at the Kohl Center to break a three game losing streak in the series.

"That was obviously a tough battle out there," said Berggren. "It's a team that plays hard and they've had our number the last couple meetings with them, so we just kept fighting … We showed a lot of fight. We did just enough to find a way to get a win."

It was Wisconsin's first double overtime game since playing Eastern Kentucky on November 19, 2005. The Badgers won that one with their offense and 95 points. Wisconsin (16-7, 7-3 Big Ten) won this one by finally ratcheting up the intensity to match Iowa battle for battle.

Almost as important as his points, Berggren has two of his seven blocks and four of his 14 rebounds in the overtime session, as his eight offensive rebounds helped the Badgers score 20 second-chance points.

He had plenty of help along the way. Mike Bruesewitz grabbed seven defensive rebounds, drew charges and grabbed loose balls while Ryan Evans, in addition to his 15 points, added nine rebounds and tied his career high with five assists.

As a result, Wisconsin closed a rebounding gap that once favored Iowa by 11 to a slight 51-49 disadvantage by grabbing 12 loose balls in overtime.

"It was a just a grind fest," said junior Ben Brust, who led all scorers with 18. "Whoever could get to the loose balls and whoever could make a play. We were just able to come up on the left side, which was good."

Although shooting only 33.8 percent (24-for-71) overall and 28 percent from three-point range (7-for-25), Wisconsin – the conference's worst free-throw shooting team at 56.2 percent – made 13 of its final 14 free throw attempts to ice the game.

As appreciative as the crowd was for the free-throw performance, it was the shots that came within the flow of the game that proved the most vital. Eleven days after he hit the game-winning shot against the Gophers, Traevon Jackson (13 points) hit a three-point shot that bounced off the front rim and the backboard before dropping in to tie the score with 20.5 seconds left.

After sitting on the bench for most of the second half and first overtime, Dekker hit a three-pointer from the right elbow with 1:37 remaining in double overtime that broke the last of the game's 14 ties.

Iowa's Josh Oglesby narrowly missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer that would have won the game for the Hawkeyes.

Last Meeting

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (BadgerNation) - After poor shooting hurt the Badgers in two narrow home losses, the points were even harder to come by at Crisler Arena, bad news against a Michigan team that has made it a habit of putting the ball into the basket.

After back-to-back shooting clunkers, the Badgers hit a new low Sunday afternoon, shooting a season-worse 31.4 percent in an ugly 59-41 defeat to No.16 Michigan.

Michigan – notorious of turning on the jets in the second half – went on an 18-7 run the first 10 minutes after halftime to push the lead to 17 and lead by as many 19 points. Wisconsin (12-5, 1-3 Big Ten) couldn't buy a shot in scoring the fewest points in a regular season game under Bo Ryan and the second fewest in school history.

As a result, the Badgers are 1-3 in conference for the first time since 2000-01, the season before Ryan arrived.

Michigan (13-3, 3-1) had three players in double figures and got a game-high 17 points from sophomore Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 12 of his points after halftime. Hardaway Jr. has scored in double figures in nine games this season, and scored the Wolverines' first five points of the second half to push the lead to 10. Wisconsin never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

Jordan Taylor led Wisconsin with 12 points, but shot 5-of-15 from the field (2-of-7 from three-point range) and scored eight of his points after the outcome was clearly decided with 10 minutes to go. He also finished with one assist and three turnovers, and has just two assists to seven turnovers in the last two games.

Not only could the Badgers not shoot, Wisconsin was out hustled, getting out rebounded 34-to-27, turned the ball over 12 times and were outshot 17-2 from the free throw line.

Series Notes:

Prior to Michigan's 59-41 win in Ann Arbor last season, Wisconsin had won 10 consecutive games overall in the series, winning by an average of 10.7 points per game over that stretch.

Wisconsin has won 10 consecutive home games against Michigan, the longest home winning streak in series history. The Badgers are 10-1 against UM at the Kohl Center, including a mark of 9-0 under Bo Ryan. Michigan's last win in Madison was a 51-39 win in 1999 that was later vacated by the NCAA. UM's last official win in Madison came in a 69-68 overtime decision in 1991.

Michigan has not scored more than 61 points vs. UW since an 85-76 win in 2006, a span of 11 games.

Bo Ryan owns a 15-5 record against Michigan overall, which includes a mark of 9-1 vs. Michigan head coach John Beilein.

Wisconsin Notes

Dating back to an 89-75 win over No. 2 Pitt on Dec. 16, 2006, Wisconsin has won 5 of its last 6 home games against teams ranked in the AP top 5. UW has won those 5 contests by an average of 9.2 points per game.

In 12 seasons at the helm of Wisconsin, Bo Ryan's teams are 44-51 (.463) in games vs. teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Ryan's teams are 28-11 (.718) at home vs. teams ranked in the AP Top-25. UW is also 8-5 at the Kohl Center vs. top-10 teams in the Ryan era.

A year ago Jordan Taylor led Wisconsin in scoring in over half of the team's games. This season, eight different Badgers have led the team in scoring.

Wisconsin has seen eight different players score in double figures in a game this season, and six different players have reached at least 15 points in a game.

From a defensive efficiency standpoint, Wisconsin is allowing 0.91 points per possession on the season and leads the Big Ten during conference play allowing 0.94 points per possession.

Michigan Notes:

Michigan's 21-2 record continues to be the best start in the history of the program. U-M's current record matches the start in 1964-65, which finished the season at the NCAA Runner-up.

Trey Burke (18.1), Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.0), Nik Stauskas (12.4) and Glenn Robinson III (11.6) have made for 74.7 percent of U-M's offensive production.

Michigan is averaging 77.7 points per game, which currently ranks as the highest per-game average under a John Beilein led team at U-M. The previous best for Beilein at U-M was 66.9 points per game in 2008-09.

Michigan has scored consistently between both halves -- averaging 37.0 in the first half and 40.5 in the second half. U-M is holding its opponents to just 28.0 points in the first half -- a difference of 8.9 points -- and 32.0 in the second half -- a difference of 8.5.

Michigan has had 13 games with 10 or fewer turnovers, including a U-M record two against Northwestern (Jan. 30). U-M averages 9.4 per game, which ranks second in the nation (as of Feb. 3).

Prediction

It's not a stretch to say Michigan is one of the most complete teams in the country this season. In a year when the nation's No.1 team has lost for five straight weeks, Michigan – who was one of those teams – has been ranked in the nation's top five the entire season, success driven by using a steady rotation of 10 players this season.

What makes that number more amazing is that all six of Michigan's first year players are seeing significant action. Of course, it's not that surprising considering Trey Burke is Michigan's point guard. A lock to be a first-team all-conference selection and in the discussion for national player of the year, Burke is averaging a career best for points (18.1), assists (7.2), field goal percentage (48.7), three-point percentage (37.9) and free throw percentage (77.8).

Burke is the first Big Ten player to average over 17 points and seven assists since Magic Johnson, who averaged 17.1 points and 8.4 assists during MSU's national title season of 1979.

"He reads things so well," Wisconsin associate head coach Greg Gard said of Burke, who almost left for the NBA after last season. "He sees the floor. We always talk about trying to funnel guys towards traffic and make them have to throw it across court, across their body and I've seen him do it. He does stuff that we try to make guys do. How can he see that, driving one way and see the other half of the floor? He's able to do that. His vision is so good."

That vision has allowed Burke to have eight assists in his last three games and eight or more in five of his last six games. It's the main reason why Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging a career best for points (16.0), field goal percentage (48.4) and three-point field goal percentage (43.1) and why Glenn Robinson III is shooting 57.6 percent (102-for-177), which puts him fifth in the Big Ten.

Hardaway Jr. has scored in double figures in 17 games this season while Robinson III has 15 such games.

"(Burke) is almost unstoppable," said assistant coach Gary Close. "Nobody has been able to figure out how to do that yet."

If somebody could do it, it might be Wisconsin, which plays such a contrasting style from the Wolverines. Michigan averages 77.7 points per game, but Wisconsin is allowing just 56.2 points per game to rank No. 11 nationally. The Badgers also lead the Big Ten in fewest points allowed per possession (0.9). Michigan ranks first in points per possession at 1.21.

But even if UW can slow down Michigan, Wisconsin will have to find its offense against a team that primarily plays man-to-man defense, but does occasionally mix in different zones, including a 2-3 and 1-3-1. It'll be critical for Wisconsin to take advantage of its jump shots when/if the Wolverines go into that defense.

Michigan leads the nation in fewest fouls per game at 11.9 and turn the ball over sparingly (9.4 turnovers is second in the nation), so the Wolverines don't beat themselves. Wisconsin has beaten good teams at home before … I just don't think they've played teams this good before.

A close game until late, Michigan moves back to No.1 in the country with a seven-point win.

Worgull's Record: 15-8

Points off Prediction: 238 (10.35 per game)


Big Red Report Top Stories