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Wisconsin Badgers vs Michigan Wolverines 2019 basketball preview

The No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers face another familiar Big Ten foe on Saturday as they take on the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines inside the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.

In the first meeting on Jan. 19, Wisconsin (17-6, 9-3 Big Ten) defeated then-No. 2 Michigan in a 64-54 upset inside the cozy confines of the Kohl Center. The Badgers contained the Wolverines to 40.7 percent shooting while holding leading scorer Ignas Brazdeikis without a point.

Redshirt senior forward Ethan Happ led the way for UW with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in the win that snapped the Badgers out of a slump and started a six-game winning streak that continues into Saturday’s contest.

Michigan (21-2, 10-2) comes off a 77-65 win over Rutgers on the road. This is a key match-up, as the Wolverines currently lead the Big Ten in conference play and the Badgers are sitting in a tie for third place with No. 9 Michigan State. Both Wisconsin and MSU sit one game out with Purdue in second at 9-2.

Since Wisconsin and Michigan last played

Overall, Michigan has gone 4-1 in its last five games after playing Wisconsin the first time. Since the upset by the Badgers, the Wolverines lost again—a 74-59 loss at Iowa last Friday—while also defeating Minnesota at home by just two points in a 59-57 decision on Jan. 22.

The Wolverines have actually become the top defense in terms of KenPom adjusted efficiency. Here are some more key stats, KenPom.com insight, and who to watch (again) from the Big Ten power:

Michigan team stats

  • Points per game: 71.1
  • Opponents’ points per game: 57.3 (first in Big Ten, second in nation)
  • Field goal percentage: 44.9
  • Opponent field goal percentage: 39.6
  • Three-point percentage: 35.0
  • Opponent three-point percentage: 30.3
  • Free throw percentage: 68.4 (ninth in Big Ten)
  • Turnovers per game: 9.4
  • Opponents turnovers per game: 13.0
  • NCAA NET ranking: 6

Key KenPom stats

  • Team rank: 6
  • Adjusted offensive efficiency: 112.3 (34th in nation)
  • Adjusted defensive efficiency: 84.6 (first in nation)
  • Effective field goal percentage (defense): 44.0 (seventh in nation)
  • Turnover percentage (offense): 14.2 (fourth in nation)
  • Offensive rebound percentage (defense): 24.0 (21st in nation)
  • Free throws attempted/Field goals attempted (defense): 22.7 (third in nation)
  • Steal percentage (offense): 5.7 (first in nation)

Key Michigan playmakers (all have started all 23 games)

  • Freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis: 15.5 points per game; 5.5 rebounds per game; 46.9 field goal percentage; 78.1 free throw percentage
  • Senior guard Charles Matthews: 12.5 points per game; 5.3 rebounds per game; 62.6 free throw percentage
  • Sophomore guard Jordan Poole: 12.9 points per game
  • Junior guard Zavier Simpson: 9.2 points per game; 5.3 rebounds per game; 6.0 assists per game (second in Big Ten and leads conference in assist-to-turnover ratio); 63.4 free throw percentage
  • Junior center Jon Teske: 8.8 points per game; 6.3 rebounds per game; 2.2 blocks per game (tied for Big Ten lead); 51.0 percent field goal percentage; 57.1 free throw percentage

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