Eight teams are left standing in the Big Ten Tournament, which will continue on Friday afternoon at the United Center. In the second game of the day, the Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan Wolverines meet up in a battle of two of the heavyweights of the conference.
The Wolverines are the favored team of these two in spite of the fact that they are just the No. 5 seed in the tournament. There was never really a doubt in the second half that Big Blue was going to take down the Penn State Nittany Lions on Thursday, though it took a little more effort than the team probably bargained for. G Trey Burke put up 21 points in the victory, and he continues to make his case for National Player of the Year honors. Of course, we still have a real problem with this Michigan team right now. The club just isn’t getting all that much out of F Glenn Robinson III. He scored five points and pulled down six boards in the win, but he has been inconsistent for the mass majority of the Big Ten season. Robinson is going to be the key to beating the college basketball betting lines over the course of the rest of the Big 10 Tournament and into the NCAA Tournament next week.
The Badgers might have one of the worst offenses in the Big Ten, but they have one of the most ferocious defenses as well. They rank 207th in the country, averaging just 66.1 points per game, and they don’t have a man on the roster that is averaging more than the 11.5 points per game of F Jared Berggren. However, if you look at what this team has done defensively over the course of the last several weeks, you have to be impressed. For the season, the Badgers are allowing just 56.0 points per game, ranking 10th in the land. What’s more impressive are the numbers that some of the top teams in America are scoring against them. Wisconsin just held the Michigan State Spartans to 58 points in East Lansing, and they kept the Ohio State Buckeyes down to 49 when they met at the Kohl Center. Rebounding the basketball is key as well. This is one of the just dozens of teams in the country that rank in the Top 100 in the land both in total rebounding (37.0 RPG) and rebounds against (29.6 RPG).
This is a time of year that the Badgers tend to struggle, and it’s because they just don’t have the players that can step up and make the big time shot. Michigan meanwhile, has gotten the big time performances out of Burke and G Tim Hardaway Jr. all season long, and that’s going to be the key to earning victory in this game. Michigan 62 – Wisconsin 57
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.