Hoopcap: Wolverines Late Game Run Revenge
Wisconsin Badgers knew their trip to Ann Arbor would be an uphill climb. They had to do without Bronson Koenig who missed last night’s game with a calf injury. Wisconsin tried to do it without him and hung tough for most of the game. Until, Michigan went on a late 9-0 run to put Wolverines on top for good and never really look back. This is the second straight loss for Wisconsin, and their worsen play is coming at the least optimal time of the season.
Offense looked lost without Koenig
I don’t think many people underrate the impact Bronson Koenig had on this team in the past few years, but if they did, last night’s game showed why he’s so important to the team. Wisconsin didn’t seem to have much of an offensive concept at different points of the game and no real playmaker moves from the point guard position. The lack of point guard depth would worry me as a Badger fan for the future of this team.
Threes were the difference in the game
Looking at the three point numbers, Michigan won this game by hitting shots from long range, and Wisconsin lost it by not having a few more. Badgers went 3-for-16 while Wolverines went 9-for-23. That’s a difference of 18 points from deep. Wisconsin only making three 3’s in a game is something you don’t see often. That’s partly due to Koenig, but D’Mitirk Trice’s night had probably more to do with it. A few of those threes go down, we’re looking at a different ball game.
D’Mitirk Trice should burn this game tape.
I can’t remember many times a Badger player shot the ball 15 times in a game. And I can’t remember when a player only made two of his 15 shots for Wisconsin. Jordan Hill didn’t provide much. Nigel Hayes challenged Brevin Pritzl who didn’t even see the court (Odd move too), but that took away a shooter. Hayes only shot the ball seven times so there were shots to be had and Trice didn’t knock them down. You hope he doesn’t head into a slump after this woeful night.
Wisconsin lost it’s destiny date… for now
Badgers looked like they were in position to play their first two NCAA Tournament games in Milwaukee. Now, I’m unsure of that. As a five seed, they probably could make a case for it, but as a six or maybe even a seven, there’s no way Badgers will or should get the home-state treatment from the committee. Wisconsin still could regain the Milwaukee appearance if they can get hot down the stretch and make a case to the committee why they deserve a higher seed.
Players of the Game: Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) Mortiz Wagner (Michigan)
Next Up: Wisconsin heads home to play Maryland in a critical game. Koenig should be back for it, and they’ll need him to keep up with Melo Trimble. The winner of this game stays in a tie with Purdue for the top spot in the Big Ten, and the loser will move a game behind. Boilermakers owe tiebreaker over both teams. They play Michigan State on Saturday afternoon.