No. 15 Michigan 62, No. 21 Wisconsin 75
The Wolverines have taken care of business on the road this season, notching wins in Madison, East Lansing and Columbus; on Sunday, Michigan's season became about defending its home court.
The No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers rolled into Ann Arbor this afternoon with a three-game winning streak, on the heels of a 1-5 stretch. Wisconsin's defense tightened up after that brutal stretch and, lo and behold, the Badgers got back on the winning track.
However, winning at home (or on the road against a team like Illinois) is a different animal from winning in Ann Arbor against the team tied for the top spot in the conference standings.
The Badgers clearly came ready to play, as they jumped out to an early 12-2 lead, paced by a pair of threes from Josh Gasser. The script was a little different this time around; this time, the Badgers were the ones shooting the lights out early in the game.
Meanwhile, Michigan struggled on the offensive end, with just seven points by the second media timeout. Also, as is Wisconsin's defensive style, the Wolverines didn't have a single three-point attempt to their name by that point in the game.
Michigan had no answer for Frank Kaminsky on the block and the slashing Sam Dekker, either. The Badgers are by no means a great offensive rebounding team --in fact, Bo Ryan de-emphasizes it in favor of getting back on defense-- but UW had six offensive boards through 11 minutes or so of play. If the Wolverines couldn't find a way to clean up on the glass and toughen up on the block, it appeared as if the Badgers were poised to upset them in Ann Arbor.
Michigan continued to take the long twos Wisconsin routinely offers, but, unlike the matchup in Madison, the Wolverines couldn't connect. More importantly, the Badgers consistently held Michigan to one-and-done.
With UW dominating every aspect of the game in the first half, the Wolverines might have been lucky to be down "just" 34-19 at the break.