MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (19-4)
at WISCONSIN BADGERS (18-5)
Kohl Center - Madison, WI
Tip-off: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Line: Michigan -3, Total: 121
After holding on to beat No. 10 Ohio State at home on Tuesday, No. 3 Michigan has another tough test on Saturday afternoon when it visits Wisconsin.
This matchup is a great contrast in styles, as Michigan is one of the best offensive teams in the nation and Wisconsin has one of the stingiest defensive units. The Wolverines score 77.7 PPG on 50.3% FG, while the Badgers allow just 56.2 PPG on 40.0% FG. Michigan is 0-2 ATS in February, but it was able to outlast OSU 76-74 in overtime on Tuesday night despite allowing the Buckeyes to shoot 52% FG and 44% threes. Wisconsin is 12-2 SU in Madison this season, allowing a paltry 50.6 PPG, but is just 5-7 ATS in these home tilts. The Badgers have dominated this series since the 2004-05 season, going 12-2 SU (8-6 ATS), but the Wolverines won big in their sole meeting last season, prevailing 59-41.
Can Michigan leave Madison with a big road win on Saturday? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are a profitable 22-18-2 ATS (55%) in the past five days of college basketball Best Bets. StatFox Gary is a perfect 7-0-1 ATS over this stretch, improving to an impressive 58% ATS (77-56-2) mark for the season. StatFox Dave is 20-14-1 ATS (59%) in the past 12 days to improve to 53.4% ATS (119-104-4) for the season.
Michigan's offense is outstanding in many facets, scoring 77.7 PPG on 50.3% FG and 41.2% three-pointers. The Wolverines commit the third-fewest turnovers in the land (9.4 TOPG) and have an outstanding 1.64 Ast/TO ratio. The team also benefits greatly from committing the fewest personal fouls in the entire country at 12.0 per game. Michigan is driven by its outstanding backcourt of PG Trey Burke (18.1 PPG, 7.2 APG) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG). Both players shoot better than 48% from the floor and 38% from three-point range, with Hardaway Jr. knocking down 43% of his treys. Burke ranks second in the nation with a 3.77 Ast/TO ratio. The duo combined for 39 points (13-of-26 FG, 10-of-16 threes) and eight assists in Tuesday's victory over Ohio State, and the pair also had 31 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in last season's 59-41 win over the Badgers. Freshman F/G Nik Stauskas (12.4 PPG) has scored in double-figures in six straight games, averaging 11.5 PPG and knocking down 12-of-28 threes (43%). For the season, Stauskas drains 49% of his long-range tries. Freshman F Glenn Robinson III (11.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG) has scored in double-figures in nine of his past 12 games, averaging 11.9 PPG during this span, and he also dished out a season-high four assists in Tuesday's victory. Another freshman, PF Mitch McGary (6.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG), has also played very well in the past two games with 12.0 PPG (60% FG), 6.5 RPG and 3.0 SPG.
Wisconsin's offense is not very efficient with 67.5 PPG on 42.7% FG, 34.4% threes and 62.2% FT. Nobody on the team averages 3.0 APG, but is able to hang around in games by committing the fewest turnovers in the nation at 9.2 TOPG. Senior C Jared Berggren (11.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG) is the team's top scorer, and he's coming off monster game in Wednesday's double-overtime win over Iowa with 16 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots. But Berggren was terrible against Michigan last season with three points on 1-of-6 FG. Junior SG Ben Brust (11.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG) has caught fire in the past two contests with 19.0 PPG on 52% FG, but still makes only 42.7% FG for the season. Senior PF Ryan Evans (10.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG) is a beast on the glass in spite of his 6-foot-6 frame, posting 15 points and nine rebounds in each of his past two contest. Evans made just 3-of-9 shots in last season's loss in Ann Arbor, but pulled down 10 rebounds. Freshman SF Sam Dekker (8.7 PPG) is the team's best shooter from three-point land at 42.1%, but has been limited to just 18.7 MPG in the past three games, averaging a mere 4.7 PPG during this stretch.