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Wisconsin at Michigan: how to watch, game preview and open thread

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Two of the hottest teams in the conference face off in Ann Arbor on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers (17-10 overall, 10-6 B1G) are back in action Thursday night against the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines (18-9 overall, 9-7 B1G) at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Badgers have won four games in a row and the Wolverines have won five in a row (and seven of their last eight) so something has got to give here as two of the hottest teams in the conference battle for a double-bye in the conference tournament.

Wisconsin has had their fair share of struggles away from home this year, but they’ve also gone into Ohio State and Penn State and won so nothing that happens in this game would be all that shocking. Michigan will, rightly, be the favorites but if the Badgers can bring some of their Kohl Center (and Pinnacle Bank Arena, thanks Nebraska) shooting magic with them, they could sneak out Crisler with a huge road win.

How to watch/listen

TV: ESPN2, 6 p.m., CT, Dan Shulman, Dan Dakich

Streaming: WatchESPN

Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 382; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas

Live stats: Here!

Arena: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Line: Wisconsin +6.5

KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 29%

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • Thursday’s game will be the 168th meeting between Wisconsin and Michigan in a series beginning in 1920.
  • The Wolverines lead the all-time series 92-75, but the Badgers have owned a decided advantage recently, going 18-6 since 2007. Wisconsin is 1-4 against Michigan in their last five match ups.
  • Greg Gard is 3-4 vs. Michigan all-time.
  • This is the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
  • The Wolverines hold a 56-22 all-time advantage over Wisconsin in games played in Ann Arbor. However, the Badgers have won in six of their last nine trips to Crisler Arena.
  • Michigan has only scored 70+ points three times against Wisconsin since 2007 (last 24 meetings).
  • In his last seven games, D’Mitrik Trice is averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. He also has a 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio (44 ast. to 12 TOs) over that same time period.
  • During conference play, Micah Potter is averaging 10.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg while shooting 54.6% overall and 48.5% from 3FG. Among reserves, Potter trails only Ohio State’s Duane Washington, Jr. (10.9 ppg) in scoring, trails only Penn State’s Mike Watkins (6.4 rpg) in boards and owns the top FG and 3FG percentages.
  • Since Feb. 9, Wisconsin is shooting 43.1% from three-point range (12th in NCAA), going 50-for-116 from deep. Only four teams have made more triples than UW over that span.
  • Wisconsin is now 11-0 this season when making nine or more three-pointers in a game.
  • The Wolverines have won five straight games and seven of their last eight games — all following a midseason four-game losing streak by the Maize and Blue.
  • Zavier Simpson is expected to play in his 143rd career game against Wisconsin (Feb. 27). That puts him a game away from tying the all-time U-M record of 144 held by former teammate Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.
  • Simpson is second the nation with an 8.0 assist average and third with his 207 total assists.
  • With 16 points at Rutgers (Feb. 19), Simpson became the 55th Wolverine in history to score 1,000 points in a career; he has averaged a career-best 12.3 points per game this season. With 638 career assists, Simpson needs to grab 43 rebounds to give him 500 for his career and help him become the first Wolverine to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 500 assists.
  • In the four games back from his hip/groin/ankle injuries, Isaiah Livers has scored in double figures in each game and continues to lead U-M with 13.6 points per game.
  • Overall, the Wolverines play a fast paced, “read-and-react” offense with several ball screen actions as a mainstay in their sets. However, U-M has adjusted to its personnel with more cutting, downhill attacks and driving to the basket at a much higher level than ever before.
  • Defensively, U-M primarily runs a man-to-man defense, however, they do have some zone packages they can employ.

Probable starters

Wisconsin

  • D’Mitrik Trice, redshirt junior, guard, No. 0
  • Brevin Pritzl, redshirt senior, guard, No. 1
  • Aleem Ford, redshirt junior, forward, No. 2
  • Brad Davison, junior, guard, No. 34
  • Nate Reuvers, junior, forward, No. 35

Michigan

  • Isaiah Livers, junior, forward, No. 2
  • Zavier Simpson, senior, guard, No. 3
  • Jon Teske, senior, center, No. 15
  • Franz Wagner, freshman, guard, No. 21
  • Eli Brooks, junior, guard, No. 55