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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Three takeaways from win vs Michigan

Three quick takeaways following the thrilling home win against Michigan on Tuesday night.

On an electric Tuesday night at the Kohl Center, the “scumbags” defeated the Michigan Wolverines 64-59.

Even without recording a field goal in the final 10:45 of the second half, the Wisconsin Badgers picked up a much-needed home win.

With the team currently on the outside looking in, the Badgers needed a win to boost their NCAA Tournament stock.

And they did just that.

Here are three quick takeaways following last night’s win:

The defense comes up clutch

The Badgers shot a dreadful 33% from the field last night in one of the worst offensive performances of the season.

After the first 5 minutes when the Badgers had already scored 12, one would have predicted the team to finish with easily over 70 points.

That may have been wishful thinking.

The Badgers went on one of the coldest shooting streaks known to man in the second half, and they still managed to win the game.

The Badgers shut down Hunter Dickinson to just 12 points on 4-9 shooting particularly due to Carter Gilmore’s strong defense in the second half.

Gilmore was +14 in the 16 minutes he played last night, and Dickinson made just one shot when defended by Gilmore.

The Badgers also forced 12 turnovers and limited the Wolverines to shooting just 31.3% from three.

On a night when the offense struggled, the defense shined and kept the team’s playoff hopes alive.

Connor Essegian records a career-high 23 points

Essegian lit it up...from the free-throw line.

Although Essegian finished with 23 points and shot 6-12 from the field, he also went 9-10 from the free-throw line and essentially iced the game for the Badgers in the finishing minutes.

Free-throw shooting has not been a strength for the Badgers this season, so it was impressive to see them win a game from the free-throw line.

Offensive rebounding

The Badgers outrebounded the Wolverines 38-37, however, they grabbed 15 offensive rebounds to Michigan’s 8.

Typically the Badgers have been dominated on the glass by opposing teams this season, but the excellent effort helped provide the team with one of their best rebounding performances this season.

Although Tyler Wahl shot poorly last night, he was a force on the glass and had 5 offensive rebounds, helping provide the Badgers with numerous second-chance opportunities.

Steven Crowl also had 12 rebounds himself as he recorded another double-double performance.

It would be ideal for the Badgers to win 4 of their last 5 games to ensure a tournament birth, however, 3 more wins and some success in the Big Ten Tournament should be enough to grant the Badgers a bid to yet another NCAA Tournament.

Hopefully, this win provides the team with momentum as they enter the final stretch of the season.