The Michigan Wolverines have a great opportunity for a statement victory tonight as they host the Wisconsin Badgers. Ann Arbor was buzzing this morning as ESPN’s College GameDay broadcasted live from the Crisler Center. Tonight the crowd should be even more energetic as the stage will be set for the Wolverines to knock off a top ten team.
At a glance…
|RECORD||12-7, 5-2 Big Ten||17-2, 5-1 Big Ten|
|PPG||Zak Irvin 13.7||Frank Kaminsky 16.9|
|REBOUNDS||Derrick Walton Jr. 4.7||Frank Kaminsky 8.2|
|ASSISTS||Spike Albrecht 3.3||Frank Kaminsky 2.4|
Somehow Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers dropped to the same Rutgers team Michigan just beat this week. Sure, player of the year candidate Frank Kaminsky was out, but still. Kaminsky will be on the floor tonight, looking to make a giant impact against the youthful and undersized Michigan squad. He is the big man that every team dreams to have on their side of the ball. Look for Kaminsky to have a huge night for the Badgers in primetime.
While Kaminsky may be the best player on the team, there are a few others that could make major impacts as well. Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes are both great players, and could take off at any point in the ball game. They can both stick jumpers, make an impact on the glass, and finish at the rim.
Wisconsin has a bunch of offensive weapons that can lock down defensively as well. The Badgers have been outscoring their opponents by nearly 20 points a game and are capable of running away with this one early.
Michigan MUST slow down the Wisconsin bigs if they want to keep pace in this one. They need to attack the paint and force Wisconsin to stop them at the rim. If they can get the Badgers into some foul trouble, they might be able to hang around long enough to have a shot at the end.
If Michigan has a hot shooting night from beyond the arc, they can make this a close game. The Wolverines cannot afford an offensive drought tonight or they will get blasted on their home court.
Constant electricity in the building will also be a key for tonight’s contest. The Maize Rage will have to help out the young Wolverines in this one if they plan on storming the court when it is all said and done (Please do not storm the court).
Michigan keeps pace with Wisconsin and the two teams enter the halftime break tied up. However, Michigan slows down offensively in the second half, and the Badgers eventually pull away in this one.
Wisconsin 74, Michigan 66
TBHR’s Derek Devine can be followed on Twitter @TheDerekDevine.