No. 8 Wisconsin vs No. 10 Michigan

No. 8 Wisconsin vs No. 10 Michigan | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 11, 2021

It’s a potential Big Ten Championship Game preview in the game of the night Tuesday around college basketball as Wisconsin visits Michigan in a matchup of Top 10 schools. The Wolverines will be favored on the NCAAB odds as they are unbeaten.

How to Bet Wisconsin at Michigan NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

The schools met once last season and Wisconsin prevailed 81-74 in Ann Arbor. D’Mitrik Trice hit a key late three-pointer and finished with 28 points for the Badgers. Wisconsin never trailed in the game and repelled every Michigan push in the second half. The Wolverines cut a 14-point deficit to three, but after a Wisconsin timeout with 2:50 remaining, Trice sank his 3-pointer to double the lead. Wisconsin made more 3-pointers (11) than Michigan attempted (10). The Badgers have won 19 of their last 25 games in this series.

Why Bet on Wisconsin? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Wisconsin (10-2) hasn’t played since last Thursday’s 80-73 double overtime victory over Indiana. The Badgers have won 18 consecutive games at the Kohl Center against the Hoosiers.

“Getting this win in double overtime is a big help and momentum booster for us to get back where we need to be,” D’Mitrik Trice said. “We just know that we’re a hard-nosed, gritty team. We’ve got to continue to play Wisconsin defense, and that’s what’s going to get the job done.”

Trice scored 21 points and Tyler Wahl made consecutive 3-pointers in the second overtime. Wahl finished with a career-high 12 points as Wisconsin won for the seventh time in its last eight games. Nate Reuvers added 14 points and Micah Potter had 10.

Trice also had 7 assists with just 1 turnover in a career-high 47 minutes. He has scored at least 20 points in 3 of the last 4 games, averaging 22.3 ppg over that stretch. Trice now owns 351 career assists, passing Mike Kelley for 6th place on the UW’s all-time chart.

Wisconsin had just 7 turnovers in the game, including zero in the second half. The Badgers have now had 11 or fewer TOs in 30 consecutive games. The Badgers entered the game second in the NCAA averaging just 8.3 turnovers per game.

UW had a season-high 10 steals. The Badgers went 16-for-20 at the free throw line. UW is 6-0 when attempting at least 20 FTAs this season. Wisconsin moved to 4-1 in Big Ten play, the team’s best start since opening the 2016-17 with a 10-1 conference record.

Head coach Greg Gard improved his record to 111-59 (.653) overall, including a mark of 63-36 (.636) in Big Ten play. Gard’s .636 conference win percentage ranks 6th among Big Ten coaches of the last 40 years – since 1980.

Why Bet on Michigan? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Wolverines (10-0) were supposed to play at Penn State on Saturday but it was postponed due to COVID issues within the Penn State program. PSU and Michigan, along with the Big Ten Conference, will work together to identify possible rescheduling dates.

UM last took the court on Jan. 6 and blew out No. 16 Minnesota 82-57. Freshman Hunter Dickinson scored a career-high 28 points, 14 in each half. It was his third career 20-point performance. He was 12-for-15 shooting (80 percent) and pulled down eight rebounds. Brandon Johns Jr. was big off the bench with four rebounds and two blocks.

Dickinson is averaging 18 points and 8.1 rebounds per game so far. He’s shooting 73% from the field which leads all major conference players. KenPom currently ranks Dickinson 5th in the national player of the year rankings.

Michigan (5-0 Big Ten) shot 62.1 percent (18-for-29) in the second half and put together a 20-1 run to earn its win against the Golden Gophers, who shot just 31.6 percent (12-for-28) in the second half and 32.4 percent (22-for-68) for the game.

The weakness of the Wolverines defense this season has been guarding the perimeter. They are currently 11th in the Big Ten in defending the perimeter, allowing conference opponents to shoot 36.4 percent from the outside. However, Michigan’s perimeter defense has come alive during the past two games by improving and locking down their opponents. Michigan has allowed their last two opponents (Northwestern and Minnesota) to shoot a combined 9-for-31 from three-point range (29 percent).

Tuesday’s meeting between Michigan and Wisconsin will mark the 126th all-time meeting. Michigan currently leads the all-time series 70-55.

Expert Prediction          

  • Michigan 73, Wisconsin 67
 
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