Junior forward Moritz Wagner had 20 points and 11 rebounds, senior Duncan Robinson had 16 points, senior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 15 points, and junior Charles Matthews added 11 points for MI. After a rare quick start, MI went just 5-for-20 from the floor and 1-for-10 from beyond the arc in the second half, allowing the Wildcats to crawl back into the game and earn the victory. The Wolverines had hit 12 of 16 shots at that point, including seven from long range. It was masterful adjustment by Wildcats' coach Chris Collins, as MI tied its lowest scoring output of the season with 52 points.
It was just the second win for MI (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten) in Madison since 2000, and gave Wolverines coach John Beilein his eighth 20-win campaign in 11 seasons in Ann Arbor.
Nebraska, for example, routed the Wolverines by switching screens, which forced Michigan's guards to make plays off the dribble instead of the usually-dangerous pick-and-pop action. That included a 15-2 run to start the game.
"You need a great deal of veteran experience to adapt to the way we're being played", Beilein said.
"All these years I don't think I've seen anything like this".
"Taking advantage of it has been hard".
The Badgers came into the game leading the Big Ten in rebounding defense, holding opponents to an average of 30.1 boards per game.
The Wisconsin womens hockey team clinched their 3rd straight WCHA regular season title with a 5-0 win Friday night at Minnesota-Duluth. A win over a ranked opponent would be a nice step in the right direction for one of the youngest teams in college basketball going into next year.
Beilein believes embarking on a similar run is contingent on more player autonomy.
The two teams play this afternoon. "I'm trying to embrace that down the stretch to really be successful these last few weeks".
The Gophers had 11 of the first 15 shots on goal, but Wisconsin (14-14-4, 8-10-3-1) scored first, putting the puck in the net at 12:45 of the first period during a delayed penalty. A defeat, meanwhile, would further raise concerns about the Wolverines.
Another inexplicably terrible start by the current Badgers paved the way for an 83-72 loss to No. 20 MI, a defeat that dropped UW to 0-7 vs. ranked opponents this season. Center Ethan Happ, as he has in almost every game this season, led Wisconsin with 27 points on 12-for-20 shooting. "(Bronson) Koenig was so good previous year and they had all those veterans. It's a tough place to play and we've had some good wins in some other places.
By halftime, MI led 44-22 after shooting 65.4 percent overall and 57.1 percent (8 of 14) from 3-point range.
"I've never seen anybody like him in my life", Beilein said. "There's not a guy anywhere that has that package where he's at 100 assists". He's got as many assists as Zavier Simpson - he has incredible vision.
"I assume he has more assists than he had last year with less shooters around him than he had last year. It's not bothering him right now".
Livers suffered an ankle injury coming down from a layup Tuesday against Northwestern.
Moments of excitement, however, have been short-lived this season, as Wisconsin's second-half spurt was more the exception than the rule. "We'll see how he feels (Sunday), but he was able to do some things in practice". Wagner and Duncan Robinson scored 10 and 12 points respectively in the first half and missed only two of their combined 11 field goal attempts as MI doubled Wisconsin's first-half score, leading 44-22 at the break. Very few have gone to IL and won. "Wisconsin ... they don't beat themselves".