Preview: Michigan at Wisconsin

After seeing its seven game losing streak get snapped in Champaign, the Badgers look for back-to-back wins against the state of Michigan. First on the docket is taking on a youthful Michigan squad at the Kohl Center Wednesday.

Michigan (11-3, 1-1 Big Ten) vs. Wisconsin (10-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Wednesday, January 5, at 7:30 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)

Television - Big Ten Network (Gus Johnson & Shon Morris)

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

Series – Michigan Leads 86-65 (UW leads 42-32 in Madison)

Last Meeting - Wisconsin won, 62-44, on Feb. 6, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wisconsin Probable Starters

11 Jordan Taylor (Junior Guard, 16.1 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (Freshman Guard, 5.9 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Senior Forward, 19.1 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Sophomore Forward, 5.1 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior Forward, 8.7 ppg)

Off the Bench

2 Wquinton Smith (Senior Guard, 0.5 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (Sophomore Forward, 3.6 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior Forward, 4.3 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Junior Guard, 2.5 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Sophomore Forward, 4.4 ppg)

Michigan Probable Starters

0 Zach Novak (Junior Guard, 8.1 ppg)

4 Darius Morris (Sophomore Guard, 15.6 ppg)

10 Tim Hardaway Jr. (Freshman Guard, 10.9 ppg)

23 Evan Smotrycz (Freshman Forward, 7.2 ppg)

52 Jordan Morgan (Freshman Forward, 9.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

1 Stuart Douglass (Junior Guard, 8.4 ppg)

13 Matt Vogrich (Sophomore Guard, 4.1 ppg)

15 Jon Horford (Freshman Forward, 3.5 ppg)

Last Time Out

Demetri McCamey scored 21 points, including making all 11 of his free throw attempts. He had 12 points over the game's final 7 minutes that helped No.23 Illinois slowly bury the Badgers, 69-61, Sunday.

Mike Davis and another senior, Bill Cole, added 11 points each for the Illini (12-3, 2-0 Big Ten). Davis had 14 rebounds to help them outrebound Wisconsin 34-25.

The Illini outshot the Badgers 66.7 percent to 42.9, and held Wisconsin to 28 percent shooting in the second half.

Yet Wisconsin hung around, and pulled within 54-49 with 6:34 to play on a 3-pointer by Tim Jarmusz.

''We go on a run, they call a timeout, they walk calmly to the bench,'' and come out with a play that delivers points, Illinois Coach Bruce Weber said. ''You're not going to put a Bo Ryan team away.''

The Wisconsin coach felt much the same way in the game's final minutes, like a comeback could be just a shot or two away.

''As bad as we were shooting the ball, those last (few) minutes, I felt like we had a chance,'' Ryan said.

Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer led Wisconsin with 19 points each, and both nailed key shots late. That left it to McCamey to methodically finish off the game. He hit a 3 with 5:15 to play, pulling up at the line and firing as he led the Illini up the court, never looking for a passing option before he drained the shot that made it 59-49.

After a 3-pointer by Taylor, McCamey answered with another one, dribbling out the final seconds on the shot clock before launching the ball and finding the net for a 63-52 lead with 2:58 to play. The rest of the way, if Illinois had the ball, McCamey was handling it, forcing the Badgers to send him to the line. McCamey, who had seven assists, said he never intended to take over the game's final minutes; it just happened.

Last Meeting

Jason Bohannon heaved up a 35-foot shot just before the halftime buzzer, then pounded his fist as it went through cleanly. It was that kind of day for No. 16 Wisconsin. Bohannon scored 18 points to lead the hot-shooting Badgers to a 62-44 victory.

Trevon Hughes added 14 points and Jordan Taylor had 13 for the Badgers (18-5, 8-3 Big Ten), who were 9 of 13 from 3-point range in the first half in taking a 40-26 lead. The trio combined to go 7 of 9 from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes.

Hughes had 3-pointers at the start and end of a 14-0 run midway through the first half that gave Wisconsin a double-digit lead it held the rest of the way.

"That's how we play," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. "We're opportunistic. We shot exceptionally well when we got looks in the first half."

The Badgers missed just seven shots in the first half but cooled off in the second. It mattered little, however, as Michigan (11-12, 4-7) made just one field goal in the first 8 minutes and never got closer than 12 points the rest of the game.

Wisconsin had eight offensive rebounds, several of which extended possessions to as long as 70 seconds. Three ended with 3-pointers just before the shot clock expired.

Series Notes:

Wisconsin has won eight consecutive games overall in the series, winning by an average of 11.25 points per game over that stretch.

During UW's eight-game win streak over UM, Michigan is averaging just 51.9 points per outing against the Badgers and has not scored more than 61 points in any of those eight contests.

Bo Ryan owns a 13-4 record against Michigan overall, including a perfect 8-0 mark at home. UW hasn't lost to Michigan at home since 1999. Ryan is 7-0 all-time vs. Michigan head coach John Beilein.

Current Badgers have enjoyed big games against Michigan. As a freshman at Michigan, Jon Leuer had 25 points (5-5 from 3-point range), 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals in 24 minutes. Leuer, who scored in double figures (12 and 10) in two contests vs. the Wolverines in 2009, missed both meetings last season with a broken wrist.

Junior Rob Wilson scored a career-high 13 points, including 11 in the second half, of UW's comeback win over Michigan on Jan. 20, 2010.

The game in Madison will be Michigan's first road game since Nov.30 and just the second one this season. After coming back from Wisconsin, Michigan will host No.3 Kansas (Jan. 9) and No.2 Ohio State (Jan. 12).

Michigan Notes:

Morris already has topped his freshman assist mark (84) as he has 106 helpers after 14 games this season, has dished out 10 or more assists in six of Michigan's 11 home games this season and currently leads the Big Ten in assists per game as of Jan. 3 (7.57/g) and is third in the nation. Morris is second in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.03).

Michigan's 11-3 start equals the top 14-game start during John Beilein's tenure at Michigan. The Wolverines also started 11-3 during the 2008-09 season.

Michigan has held two opponents to less than 50 points in a game this season (USC Upstate, 35; N.C. Central, 44). The Wolverines have had two sub-50 defensive performances in all four years under head coach John Beilein.

The Wolverines have had eight double-doubles this season, five from Darius Morris and three from Zack Novak. All of Novak's have been point-rebound double-doubles, while all of Morris' have been point-assist double-doubles. Michigan is second in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage (71.4 percent) and has two players in the top-10 in the conference in free-throw percentage. Zack Novak is fifth, shooting at an 82.9 percent clip, while Tim Hardaway Jr., is ninth, shooting 78.6 percent.

The Wolverine defense has been stout as their opponents are shooting 39.5 percent from the floor and 31 percent from three-point range. Both of those marks are third in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin Notes:

With a win over NC State earlier this year, Wisconsin has now won 16 consecutive games following a loss. Last season, UW was the only Big Ten team that did not lose consecutive games. The last time the Badgers lost back-to-back games was in January of 2009.

For the second straight season, Wisconsin leads the nation in fewest turnovers at just 8.1 per game. Pacific ranks a distant second with 10.5 TOs per game. Michigan (10.7 TOs per game) owns the Big Ten's second-best mark.

Through two Big Ten games, UW has turned the ball over a total of five times. That is the lowest two-game total in school history. The previous low was a total of seven in back-to-back games vs. Michigan State (1) and Penn State (6) in 2008.

Wisconsin ranks second in the Big Ten and fifth in the nation allowing 55.6 points per game (Ohio State leads the conference at 54.7 ppg). The Badgers are limiting foes to 39.9 percent shooting, which ranks sixth in the conference.

Prediction

Not much was expected of Michigan after the Wolverines had to replace 69 percent of its scoring and 56 percent of its total minutes played from last season. Even with junior Manny Harris and senior DeShawn Sims, the Wolverines weren't very good when it mattered most, losing nine games last season by seven-or-fewer points, including one-point losses to top-five ranked Michigan State and Ohio State.

Still, a young group of freshmen are playing pretty good basketball, having only played one really bad game at Purdue. With 11 of its 15 players being underclassmen (73.33 percent), Michigan has the youngest squad in the Big Ten, making its early success more impressive.

Wisconsin will see plenty of man-to-man defense, which one hopes would mean the Badgers would be able to attack the post, score in the paint and get to the free throw line. If the Wolverines shift to a 1-3-1, the Badgers have to hit their threes, which they didn't do in Champaign (missing 25 of them).

The Badgers have been something special at home this season and I can't see their magic wearing off against a Wolverines team. Michigan's youngsters get their eyes open with the environment and struggle, meaning UW will win by 16.

Worgull's Record: 13-1

Points off Prediction: 100 (7.1 per game)


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