In Lead Up to March Madness, Wisconsin Seeks Redemption at Michigan in Big Ten Battle
Big Ten Men’s Basketball has seen better times than the 2016-17 season, but the top team in the conference will be in action Thursday night (7 PM ET, ESPN) when the Wisconsin Badgers visit the Michigan Wolverines. No. 11-ranked Wisconsin leads the way at 21-4 Straight Up and 11-11 Against the Spread; Michigan sits in the middle of the pack at 16-9 SU and 9-13 ATS.
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Although the Wolverines have fallen to +20000 on the March Madness NCAAB futures market, they have some good things going for them. Senior guard Derrick Walton (+9.6 BPM) is putting up 17.6 points and 4.4 assists per 40 minutes while hitting 44.2% of his 3-point attempts. Walton was 3-of-5 from behind the arc in last month’s 68-64 loss to Wisconsin (–11.5) at the Kohl Center.
The Badgers, currently sitting at +3300 to win March Madness, may be the best the Big Ten has to offer, but they’re only 2-6 ATS in their last eight games, starting with that narrow victory over Michigan. They’re also coming off a 66-59 loss to the Northwestern (their first home loss in 19 games), once again coughing up the cash as 11.5-point home favorites. Shooting just 66.6% from the free-throw line hasn’t helped their cause.
When these two teams met January 17 at the Kohl Center, it was Wisconsin prevailing 68-64, but Michigan bagged the cash as 11.5-point underdogs on the closing line. The Badgers were also 11.5-point favorites in Sunday’s 66-59 loss to Northwestern. Banged up senior guard Bronson Koenig (+5.6 BPM) shot just 1-for-8 for Wisconsin.