The Big Ten only had one game on Tuesday night after Penn State and Rutgers postponed, but it was a top 10 battle between two powers in Michigan and Wisconsin. Unfortunately for the Badgers, the game would prove one-sided.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 7 Michigan Wolverines 77, No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers 54
This was supposed to be an epic battle between two top 10 teams. It was also circled for weeks as the first time we’d get to see Michigan challenged against a top-tier opponent. Instead, we got a blowout of epic proportions as Michigan absolutely rolled Wisconsin in Ann Arbor en route to a 77-54 victory.
While that 23-point margin looks impressive, it doesn’t even accurately capture how one-sided things were on Tuesday night. Michigan was up by 40 points at one point and probably could have piled on more had the team been pressing. Franz Wagner led the way with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and an assist.
What was perhaps most impressive about the win as well was how little of it came from star center Hunter Dickinson. The freshman big man has carried the Wolverines for much of the season, but he was relatively quiet in the first half and only played 24 minutes. It was a statement about the team’s potential: Michigan isn’t a one-man show.
The win pushed Michigan to 11-0 overall, 6-0 in Big Ten play, and to fourth nationally on KenPom. If people didn’t believe in the Wolverines, that ended on Tuesday night. Michigan not only looked like the best team in the Big Ten, but on par with other national powers like Baylor and Gonzaga. This had every bit the feel of a team capable of achieving some major things in March.
For Wisconsin, this is the type of game where you “burn the tape” and move on to the next outing. The Badgers were rattled for much of the night by an aggressive Michigan defense and really had no answer on the wing for Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner. It was easily the team’s worst offensive showing of the season and one of its worst going back some time.
Both teams will now prepare for intriguing games over the weekend. Michigan will prepare for a road trip to face Minnesota on Saturday, while Wisconsin will go on the road to face a desperate Rutgers squad on Friday.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Penn State Nittany Lions
This figured to be an interesting game after some missteps on both sides. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for the game to be rescheduled. Everyone certainly wishes safety and health onto every on both sides.