Wisconsin Badgers travel to Ann Arbor, continuing their late-season scramble to make the NCAA tournament by squaring off against the Wolverines of Michigan. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. (CST) and will be televised on CBS.
What’s happened since we last saw “The Dancing Queen”
In the 12 days since Michigan last loss, to Wisconsin, the Wolverines have won two in a row. They first defeated in-state rival Michigan State 84-72. They then traveled to Rutgers and emerged victorious, 58-45.
Since Tyler has come back from his injury, Wisconsin has not won consecutive games. That pattern held up in the two contests since the Valentine’s Day win against Michigan, dropping the heartbreaker to Rutgers 58-57 and then dominating Iowa 64-52.
Michigan is led, as usual, by the masked man himself, Hunter Dickinson. He is averaging 17.4 points per game, 8.6 rebounds a contest, shooting 54.7% from the field and 40.0% from 3-point range.
However, Jett Howard, who is their second-leading scorer, missed their last game with a right ankle turn. He is listed as probable but, as we all know watching Tyler, playing doesn’t necessarily mean you will be 100%.
Kobe Bufkin is the third Michigan player that averages double-digits in scoring with 12.9 points per game.
The Wisconsin roller-coaster
The Badgers’ leading scorer is point guard Chucky Hepburn. He tallies 12.4 points per game while shooting 38.3% from the floor but is ranked in the top 20 with an impressive 43.5% from long-range.
Wisconsin’s Freshman of the Year candidate, Connor Essegian, has now become the 2nd-leading scorer on the squad, averaging 11.7 per game. He is shooting 41.4% from the field and 39.7% from downtown.
Junior forward, “Big Steve” Crowl continues to develop offensive moves and is scoring 11.5 points per game. He hauls in 7.2 rebounds per contest. His rebounding has improved significantly in the past 10 games, with only the Iowa game with a low total because of early foul trouble.
The Vegas odds and what to expect
Michigan opened up as a five-point favorite at home. The total is 129.5. In their last 10 games against the spread (ATS), the Wolverines are 5-4-1 while Wisconsin is 4-5-1.
Michigan’s last 10 games have been split, 5-5, on the over/under. As to be expected, Wisconsin’s games have gone under 6 out of 10.
Not only do I want Wisconsin to win today, I know they can. They are practically playing for their tournament lives and they know that they need every win they can.
Unfortunately, I don’t think they will do it. I think the Crisler Center will be every bit as raucous as the Kohl Center was 12 days ago. The trend that Wisconsin has displayed since Tyler’s return is also incredibly troubling.
I do really like the over for the total. So, if I was forced to make a wager, I would say Michigan on the money line and over the 129.5 total.
This would be a GREAT time for me to be wrong.