It is going to be a great day in the world of college basketball today. We are less than a month away from conference championship week in which every team in the country will have a shot at winning their conference tournament and punch their ticket to the big dance. There are 147 games today and I want to highlight a battle between two ranked teams in the Big Ten.
The Michigan Wolverines are the 7th ranked team in the country and are the reigning National Champions. They are hosting the 19th ranked Wisconsin Badgers team in what will be a dynamite match-up. Tip off is set for 11am Central Standard Time and the game can be seen on National Television on FOX. It will take place at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines are favored by 6.5 points and the over/under is 120 points.
It was a perfect season for the Michigan Wolverines until they had to travel to Madison, Wisconsin a few weeks ago. The Badgers upset the Wolverines and handed them their first loss of the year. Revenge will on their minds today and they will be highly motivated to even up their match-up.
Michigan is led by freshman Ignas Brazdelkis who is averaging 15 points per game. The left handed wing player has shot the ball well from outside and has been a huge surprise for the team. Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews are each averaging 12 points per game. Poole is the emotional leader of the team while Matthews is the best perimeter shooter and has big game talent. They will need to push the pace today against a very stingy Wisconsin defense.
Wisconsin got off to a 10-2 start this season and looked like a lock to be a tournament team early on. But they hit a bumpy stretch and lost four out of five games before beating this Michigan team 64-54. That would be the start of their current six game winning streak and gave the team some much needed confidence.
They are led by big man Ethan Happ who is averaging 18 points per game. He is also the team's leading rebounder with 10 per game and with assists at 5 per game. D'Mitrik Trice is second on the team in scoring at 13 points per game with Brad Davidson next at 11 points per game.
3 point shooting is going to be a deciding factor in today's game. The Wisconsin Badgers are the 10th best 3 point shooting team in the country while the Michigan Wolverines are just the 141st. Both teams are excellent at not turning the ball over as they are in the top 5 in the country in protecting the ball.
So what does all of this mean for today's match-up? Home court advantage in the Big Ten Conference is huge and so is the revenge factor. I think the Michigan Wolverines will take care of business at home today. I also think the game will go OVER the total of 120 points as that is just too low and with some late game fouling by Wisconsin, it will push the combined score up.
Both of these teams will be very dangerous in March Madness. They play great defense and don't turn the ball over. That is the perfect combination for a successful and deep run in the tournament.
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