After winning their first 17 games of the season, #2 Michigan lost a road conference game to the Wisconsin Badgers 64-54.
Wisconsin center Ethan Happ led all scorers with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, the swarming Badgers defense held Michigan’s leading scorer, freshman Iggy Brazdeikis, to zero points. The Badgers improved to 12-6. Immediately after the buzzer ended, fans stormed the court in Madison, Wsiconsin.
The Wolverines got off to a hot start of the college basketball season. They won 15 out of their first 17 games by double digits. Michigan set a school record with a pristine 17-0 start and defeated several ranked teams including #8 Villanova, #11 North Carolina, #19 Purdue, and #21 Indiana.
Northwestern had given Michigan their toughest contest of the season when the Wildcats lost by two points in Evanston in early December. In the rematch in Ann Arbor last week, Michigan won by twenty points.
After Syracuse upset #1 Duke in overtime earlier this week, the Wolverines came into this weekend with a chance of securing the top seed in the nation. However, the loss against unranked Wisconsin (12-6) ruined their opportunity to lock up the top spot in the AP Poll.
Michigan came into the game averaging 73.6 points per game and after a bad shooting performance, they could only muster up 54 points.
Freshman Iggy Brazdeikis leads Michigan in scoring this season with 15.7 points per game. The Badgers held him to zero points for his first scoreless game of his career. Brazdeikis finished the game missing all five of his shots, including 0-for-3 from downtown.
Center John Teske led Michigan in scoring with 15 points after the Badgers shut down Iggy Brazdeikis.
Michigan’s starting back court, Zavier Simpson and Jordan Poole, combined for 25 points on 11 of 27 shooting. They went 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. Michigan finished with a 27.8 percent three-point shooting clip.
Happ and the Badgers
Michigan had their winless streak with an early Saturday conference matchup against Wisconsin in Madison. The Badgers were three-point home dogs in this situation. Wisconsin was ranked as high as #12 earlier this season before they dropped out of the Top 25. The Badgers lost four out of their last five games coming into the Michigan contest.
Michigan headed into the locker room at halftime with a two-point lead after guard Zavier Simpson connected on a three-pointer to make the score 27-25.
Wisconsin took the lead with 12 minutes to go in the second half with an Aleem Ford three-pointer. Michigan kept the game close until Wisconsin pulled away late in the game. Wisconsin outscored Michigan 10-3 in the final two minutes of the game to seal the victory.
Ford finished the game with 9 points. No one else on Wisconsin scored in double digits during the Ethan Happ Show. Happ scored 26 points with 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and two steals. Overall, he shot an efficient 12-for-22 from the floor.
Happ, a 6-foot-10 senior forward from Illinois, came into the game averaging 19.4 points this season. Most recently, Happ dropped 31 in an overtime loss to Purdue. He also lit up Marquette for 34 points in early December.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 19, 2019
Look Ahead for Michigan
Michigan is in the heart of Big Ten games. Rival Michigan State is in first place with a 7-0 conference record. Michigan and Michigan State do not square off until the end of the season.
This upcoming week, Michigan hosts Minnesota at home before they go on the road and have a rematch against Indiana.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, Duke is the favorite to win the NCAA college basketball title at +150. Michigan is listed at 6-1 odds to win the college championship.