For the second time in 12 days, the Wisconsin Badgers battle the Michigan Wolverines. It’s a game both teams need to improve their NCAA Tournament resume. The Badgers took the first meeting 64-59 in Madison on Valentine’s Day. This time these teams will meet in Ann Arbor. Tip time is 1 PM on CBS. Here is a preview of tomorrow afternoon’s clash at the Crisler Center.
How Will Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson Respond?
Hunter Dickinson wore a ski mask to the Kohl Center because he said Michigan was going to steal a win vs. Wisconsin.
📷: ESPN pic.twitter.com/Klle9FYsWy
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 15, 2023
By now, you probably know Michigan center Hunter Dickinson does not like the Badgers at all. In the first meeting, he came to the Kohl Center in a black ski mask stating Michigan would steal a road win. He also was very animated with the student section, especially in the first half. He only had three points in the second half and did not make a shot in the final 20 minutes. He ended the game with only 12 points.
It’s almost impossible to shut down a player as good as Dickinson twice in a row. I think Michigan will prioritize and get him touches in the paint and let him work. Not only is he very good at the rim, he’s also a more than capable passer. If I’m Wisconsin, I give him the Trayce Jackson-Davis treatment and give him multiple looks in the paint. Some one-on-one and some with a double team. Look for Dickinson to be aggressive early and often.
Will Jett Howard Play vs. Wisconsin?
Freshman Jett Howard is Michigan’s most athletic player and one of their best overall players. He injured his ankle against Michigan State and did not play Thursday at Rutgers. The Wolverines didn’t need him as they got an important and impressive road win. That will only be 72 hours since that game. If Howard plays, I doubt he will be 100%.
Howard is also a tough matchup for Wisconsin. The Badgers don’t have a player big enough and athletic enough to take him on at 6’8. We could see a mix of Jordan Davis, Max Klesmit, and some of Tyler Wahl on Howard. However, it is a tough ask and it will be interesting to see if he can go.
In the first battle, Wisconsin beat Michigan despite not making a shot in the final 10:45 of the game. How in the world did they win? The Badgers shot 14-18 at the free-throw line. They will have to do both tomorrow. Wisconsin can’t go on a long shooting drought, and they have to make free throws when they get the opportunity.
I think this is a tough ask for Wisconsin to get a road win tomorrow. Michigan is always a tough place to play. Given the last two meetings with these teams, you better believe Michigan wants a shot to defend their home court in a game they need.
Currently, Wisconsin is in the “Last 4 In” in most NCAA brackets. Michigan is either out or a “Next 4 Out”. This game is important for both teams. The Badgers did their job and defended the home court, and now Michigan has the chance. This is usually the time we see the Wolverines pick their play up a notch and get hot at the right time.
Wisconsin does own impressive road wins at Marquette, Ohio State, and Penn State. I don’t think they will be phased by the environment. At the end of the day, I think Hunter Dickinson is too much, and Michigan gets timely baskets late in this one. I hope I’m wrong, but I see the Badgers falling tomorrow.
Michigan 66 – Wisconsin 60
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