The No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2 overall, 4-1 Big Ten) are back on the road, this time for a top-10 showdown with the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (10-0 overall, 5-0 Big Ten) at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. This...this is a big one, folks. Both teams have looked dominant at times but this will easily be the biggest test either one has faced so far this season.
With the postponement of the Penn State game, the Badgers have only played once in 2021 and haven’t played on the road since Christmas Day so they have, presumably, been champing at the bit to get on the court and play someone that isn’t on the same team as them. The Wolverines will provide a more than suitable opponent.
Led by freshman sensation Hunter Dickinson, Michigan hasn’t lost yet this season and have really only been tested in two games. The 7-foot-1 behemoth out of Virginia is leading the team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots while leading the nation in field goal percentage (I don’t care about the Colgate player who has only played two games and is technically beating him).
He has proven to be nearly unstoppable on offense while being a major rim deterrent on defense. The Badgers are one of the few teams that have the size to matchup with Dickinson, but Nate Reuvers may be too slight and foul prone and Micah Potter may be too slow-footed to keep up with him. I’d say throw Joe Hedstrom out there to use as five fouls, but Dickinson shoots nearly 74% from the free throw line, so it’d probably just be a waste of everyone’s time.
There are a couple of positives for the Badgers vs. Dickinson, however, as he is not a threat outside of the paint on offense and Reuvers and Potter should have their way with him on the perimeter on defense. Michigan doesn’t have a backup big that plays anything like Dickinson and 6-foot-10 senior Austin Davis has been injured for much of the season, so trying to get Dickinson in foul trouble early will be key for UW.
The Wolverines aren’t a great three point shooting team, but their offense is incredibly efficient and will put Wisconsin’s defense to the test. UW will want to slow this one down to their preferred pace to keep Michigan’s, and Dickinson’s, possessions low and keep the Wolverines off the offensive glass.
This really should be a great game and I couldn’t be more excited to watch it.
How to watch/listen
TV: ESPN, 6:00 p.m., CT, Dave Flemming, Dan Dakich
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 83; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Line: Wisconsin +3.5
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 43%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- The Badgers have won seven of their last 10 games at the Crisler Center, including last season’s 81-74 win over the No. 19 Wolverines. Overall, Wisconsin is 19-6 in its last 25 meetings with Michigan.
- The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 92-76.
- The Badgers have earned five wins over teams ranked in the top 50 of Ken Pomeroy’s rankings this season, tied for the most in the country. Illinois, Texas and Clemson also have five.
- Wisconsin is 3-0 against the AP Top-25 this season.
- The Badgers and Wolverines will meet for the first time with both teams ranked in the top-10 of the AP poll.
- Wisconsin ranks No. 6 in the NCAA shooting 41.4% 3FG and averages 8.7 triples per game.
- Wisconsin ranks No. 2 in the nation averaging only 8.2 turnovers per game.
- Over the last four games, senior PG D’Mitrik Trice has averaged 22.3 ppg, going 11-for-23 (47.8%) from 3-point range and 22-of-28 (78.6%) at the FT line.
- Senior G Brad Davison has started 105 straight games.
- UW leads the Big Ten in scoring defense (61.5 ppg) and ranks No. 2 in field goal percentage defense (38.9%).
- Michigan has only scored 70+ points four times against Wisconsin since 2007 (last 25 meetings).
- The last time U-M rattled off 10 straight games to start a season was a few years ago during the 2018-19 campaign. The Wolverines won their first 17 straight games before losing at Wisconsin (64-54) at the Kohl Center.
- In the six weeks of play this year, C Hunter Dickinson has five Freshman of the Week accolades. The one week he did not receive the honor was because U-M started with a bye for the Big Ten season.
Guess who got their Big Ten Freshman of the Week?— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) January 11, 2021
➡️ Scored a career-best 28 points against No. 16 Minnesota -- 3rd 20+ point game, second in three games
➡️ shot a career-best 12-for-15 FG, while adding eight rebounds in 31 minutes#GoBlue 〽️ pic.twitter.com/CptXR8Tf38
- Dickinson leads U-M in scoring (18.0), rebounding (8.1), blocks (1.4) and field goal percentage (73.0 percent).
- With the national minimum of 5.0 FGM per game, Dickinson leads the Big Ten and is second nationally with his 73.0 percent (73-for-100). He trails Colgate’s Keegan Record, who is 10-for-13 in two games this season.
- U-M is shooting 52.5 percent from the field, leading the Big Ten and ranking No. 8 nationally.
- The Wolverines are also shooting a Big Ten best, 77.8 percent from the free throw line — No. 19 nationally.
- U-M has scored 80+ points in nine games and averages 82.5 per game, which is third in the Big Ten and No. 31 nationally.
- D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8 redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
- Micah Potter, 6-foot-10, redshirt senior, center, No. 11
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
- Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11, senior, forward, No. 35
- Hunter Dickinson, 7-foot-1, freshman, center, No. 1
- Isaiah Livers, 6-foot-7, senior, forward, No. 2
- Mike Smith, 5-foot-10, redshirt senior, guard, No. 12
- Franz Wagner, 6-foot-9, sophomore, forward, No. 21
- Eli Brooks, 6-foot-1, senior, guard, No. 55