Date/Time - Saturday, February 6, at 3 p.m. Central
Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)
Television - CBS (Kevin Harlan and Bill Raftery)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)
Series – Michigan Leads 86-64 (UM Leads 53-18 in Madison)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 54-48, on Jan. 20, 2010 in Madison
Wisconsin Probable Starters
3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 15.5 ppg)
11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 9.8 ppg)
12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 10.8 ppg)
24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 2.8 ppg)
52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 8.8 ppg)
Off the Bench
5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 4.1 ppg)
33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 3.4 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.1 ppg)
40 Jared Berggren (Freshman Center, 1.5 ppg)
Michigan Probable Starters
0 Zack Novak (Sophomore Forward, 7.4 ppg)
1 Stu Douglass (Sophomore Guard, 6.9 ppg)
3 Manny Harris (Junior Guard, 18.7 ppg)
31 Laval Lucas-Perry (Sophomore Guard, 5.9 ppg)
34 DeShawn Sims (Senior Forward, 17.0 ppg)
Off the Bench
4 Darius Morris (Freshman Guard, 4.2 ppg)
12 Anthony Wright (Junior Forward, 1.6 ppg)
13 Matt Vogrich (Freshman Guard, 1.7 ppg)
32 Zack Gibson (Senior Forward, 3.6 ppg)
Everything that could go wrong was going wrong for No.18 Wisconsin but Wilson scored 11 of his career-high 13 points in the second half to turn the tide, helping the Badgers register a furious comeback to overcome Michigan, 54-48.
"We see glimpses of that in practice, and we know (Wilson is) a great player," said Hughes, who led the Badgers with 20 points. "It took him all season for him to come out and play with us, and we needed it. He brought it out."
Wilson had been quiet for the majority of the season for Wisconsin, averaging only 9.6 minutes and 2.4 points in a reserve role. He had never eclipsed double digits in scoring (previous career-high of nine), but had chipped in with rebounding, defense and assists during his marginal time on the court.
But with his team starting the game missing 12 of its first 13 shots, including the opening eight, Wisconsin trailed by as many as 11, the biggest deficit the Badgers had faced at home all season, Wilson started to perk up after UW called a timeout at that nine-minute mark in the second half to settle the troops. The sophomore promptly hit a three-pointer, a bucket that started a string of seven consecutive points from Wilson that cut the Michigan lead to 39-37.
After Wilson finally squared the contest at 43, hitting two free throws at 4:04, a quick 6-0 run made sure the Badgers wouldn't have to deal with another deficit, thanks to the senior leadership of Hughes, who carried the team in crunch time once again. Hitting a deep jumper at 3:07 to give UW its first lead, Hughes grabbed the defensive rebound, drove to the rim and delivered a left-hand lay-in for a 47-43 lead with 2:16 left.
Next to Wilson, Hughes was the key to Wisconsin's resurgence, scoring 16 points in the second half to spark UW.
Last Time Out:
No.16 Wisconsin trailed 1-0 and that was it, leading by as many as 17 points in the first half and never let the led dip below eight after that on its way to a resounding 67-49 victory in front of 17,230 fans at the Kohl Center Tuesday.
Four players scored in double figures for Wisconsin (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten), led by Bohannon's game-high 19 that put the Badgers back into sole possession of second place and gives Michigan State (19-4, 9-1) its first conference loss of the season.
"We want to win the Big Ten title," said Taylor (17 points). "That's one of the goals we set out for as soon as we lost to Xavier last year. That's one of the goals – Big Ten title, Big Ten Tournament title, Final Four. We just want to win games (and) that's obviously a big win. It puts us back in contention."
Everything seemed to click for the Badgers Tuesday. Defeating its third ranked team in the AP top 10 this season (the first time UW has done that since 1999-2000) Wisconsin dished out 17 assists (best in a conference game), shot above 50 percent (50.9 percent) for the first time in conference play against the conference's best field-goal percentage defense and held the Spartans to a season-low in points.
Said Izzo: "I thought for the most part that was an old-fashioned whooping. They came out and really took it to us early, made a lot of shots and they deserve the credit."
UM leads the all-time series 86-64, but the Badgers have won the last seven consecutive contests in this series, including a 54-48 comeback win on Jan. 20
Overall, UW has won 14 of the last 18 against UM.
The Badgers have won in each of their last two visits to Michigan
Michigan coach John Beilein will be looking to get his first win against Wisconsin today. Overall, he is 0-6 against the Badgers. The last two meetings have been road contests, with U-M losing by five points (60-55) last season and six points (54-48) early this season.
According to the Sagarin ratings, UW has played the 7th-toughest schedule in the nation. RealtimeRPI lists it at No. 11.
Wisconsin has faced 29 top-25 teams since 2007-08. Ohio State (33) is the only team that has played more ranked foes over that span. The Badgers are 14-15 in those 29 contests.
Since Bo Ryan took over in 2001, Wisconsin has posted a 101-41 (.711) Big Ten record, tops in the conference. Over the last four seasons, UW also owns the best Big Ten mark at 45-16 (.738). Michigan State (43-18, .705) has the second-best record over that span.
UW's 74.3 percent free throw shooting (304-of-409) leads the Big Ten and is 23rd in the NCAA. That would tie as the 2nd-highest mark in UW history (record is .758 set in 1983-84).
Manny Harris continues to etch his name on several of U-M's all time lists. With two more points, he will become the 18th Wolverine to surpass 1,500 career points. In fact, Harris will become just the sixth junior to reach the 1,500 point mark.
Throughout Michigan's Big Ten history, the Wolverines have won 700 conference games. With a 60-56 win over Iowa, U-M became the fifth Big Ten program to reach that level as of Jan. 30th -- Illinois (867), Purdue (852), Indiana (848) and Wisconsin (707). Iowa is three away with 697 Big Ten wins.
When breaking down the Big Ten, the Wolverines have one of the youngest teams in the league with 11 players redshirt-sophomores or younger. In fact, other than Iowa (75 percent), Michigan is the youngest team in the Big Ten with 73.3 percent of U-M's lineup having seen less than two years on the floor.
I'll pose the same question I said before the Michigan State game, which Wisconsin team are we going to see against Michigan - the team that struggled for the good majority of its two home games three weeks ago or the team that played valiantly against two top ten teams in back-to-back games? Of course, the same question could be said about Michigan, which has had a miserable season that has fallen well short of preseason expectations.
The Badgers have held 10 teams to 50 or fewer points, the most of any team in the nation. Five of those defensive efforts have come vs. Big Ten. One of those efforts was against a Michigan team that one could make the case should have beaten Wisconsin. The Badgers need to shoot better this time and have to contain Sims, which was the main reason the Wolverines had a shot in that contest.
Wisconsin leads the nation in turnovers, turning the ball over an average of just 9.2 times per game, on pace to set a school record. That bodes well for the Badgers on the road, where UW is only 2-4 in true road games.
Michigan will be playing it seventh contest against a ranked opponent this season and while the Wolverines are 2-4 in those games, the two victories have come at Crisler Arena, just missing a third after a heartbreaking one-point loss to No.5 Michigan State. Can the Wolverines make it three? Well, Tuesday determined the Badgers are the better team, but can they show it?
I think the Wolverines can win, but I think the Badgers will win by six.
Worgull's Record: 17-5
Points off Prediction: 236 (10.7 per game)