Michigan vs. Scoring Wisconsin: The Badgers pull the Wolverines out of the undefeated with a convincing victory



College basketball lost little time producing reverberations on what is the busiest day (150 games) of the 2018-19 calendar.

We entered on Saturday with only two undefeated teams standing and we will go out with a maximum of one: Virginia.

This is because Wisconsin played one of their best games of the season, defeating the impeccable Michigan 64-54, giving the Wolverines No. 2 their first loss of the season and in the process leaving Michigan State as the only Big Be undefeated

Wisconsin (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) also avoided taking a three-game losing streak at home that, if it had happened, would have introduced a real concern about Bucky's absence in the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years. That has not happened since the mid-nineties.

But those concerns can be left aside, at least for now. In fact, the Badgers have been a favorite of the metrics despite having lost at least six of their first 17 games for the third time in four seasons. Wisconsin dropped four of its five previous spins in the direction of the Michigan showdown. However, Greg Gard's team placed comfortably in the top 25 of multiple advanced measurements even before Saturday's big win. Now we have a better idea of ​​why the computers trusted a bit more in Wisconsin, and maybe this kind of victory can make the season better for Bucky.

This type of conquest is a reminder of how difficult the Big Ten is: hey, there are 10 teams with realistic prospects of NCAA tournaments at this time. The league ranks number 1 on KenPom, and is proof that it will be difficult for Michigan. or state of Michigan or maybe even Maryland to finish on top of the league table with less than four losses. The next seven months will be noisy in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines (17-1, 6-1) were partly broken by turnovers. They entered the game with an average of only 9.4, among the best rates in college basketball. But Wisconsin induced the team of John Beilein to 16 draws.

Wisconsin received early help thanks to its effectiveness in stopping Ignas Brazdeikis, who has been one of the best freshmen in college basketball, and Charles Matthews. Both were without goals in the first half. Brazdeikis, who leads the team in average points, finished without a point for the first time this season. That was an impressive development.

In addition, the Wolverines managed only 1-for-7 from a range of 3 points to 20 minutes and were 5-for-18 for the game.

For Badgers fans who have been a little uncomfortable with the way the program has delayed much of the past two seasons, this victory had to feel like a setback. The Kohl Center was alive, Wisconsin won on a low scoring affair and never lost control of the game in the second half.

As obvious as it sounds, Saturday was an excellent example of how Wisconsin's biggest prospect and long-term success will be in the hands of the Ethan Happ senior center. the preseason CBS Sports Third team All-America honoree He had one of his best games, if not the best, of the season. In an important place and before an exceptional defensive team with a quality front line, Happ had 26 points, 10 rebounds, seven badists and two steals.

Happ does not have striking highlights, but this season it will be difficult for you to find 10 best complete games per player, considering the circumstances and the opponent.

Happ is not among the three or four most important names for player of the year consideration at this stage, but if Wisconsin uses this victory as a springboard for a big push in the Big Ten? What if Happ starts averaging in the neighborhood of 11/23/5 over the next month? Yes, it will be there with Zion Williamson, Markus Howard, Grant Williams, Dedric Lawson, Ja Morant and others.

And while the owner of this is the final 17-0 in the Michigan school record, Wisconsin offers a win in his style and handcuffing the Wolverines is the most important story. The last time Wisconsin won at home against a team between the first two in the AP ranking came in 2011, when it collapsed at the time: No. 1 Ohio State. That Badgers club ended up doing the Sweet 16 and finished third in what was rated the best conference in America.

Getting to third place in this conference can be too difficult a task, but the Sweet 16 does not seem as hard at this time as it did before the Michigan game was tilted. Wisconsin, for the most part, has the Michigan number.

The Wolverines are 5-17 against Bucky since Beilein became a coach (2007-08). With the loss, it is almost certain that Michigan also loses its chance to get the top spot in the Top 25 of AP, which has not been acquired since January 2013.


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