Preview: Wisconsin II

Or: Tim’s foray into tempo-free statistics.

Michigan takes on the Badgers of Wisconsin at 2PM today (Eastern time, 1PM local). The game can be seen live from the Kohl Center on the Big Ten Network.

Tempo-Free and efficiency comparison (if you need an explanation of what any of these things mean, head to KenPom’s website):

Michigan v. Wisconsin: National Ranks
Category Michigan Wisconsin Advantage
Mich eFG% v. Wisconsin eFG% D 153 153
Mich eFG% D v. Wisconsin eFG% 169 111 W
Mich TO% v. Wisconsin Def TO% 18 255 MMM
Mich Def TO% v. Wisconsin TO% 157 5 WW
Mich OReb% v. Wiconsin DReb% 265 8 WWW
Mich DReb% v. Wisconsin OReb% 164 203 M
Mich FTR v. Wisconsin Opp FTR 318 64 WW
Mich Opp FTR v. Wisconsin FTR 27 224 MM
Mich AdjO v. Wisconsin AdjD 57 54
Mich AdjD v. Wisconsin AdjO 77 21 W

Differences of more than 100 places in the rankings garner two-letter advantages, differences of more than 200 get a third.

When Last We Met…

The slide began. The Wolverines dropped a 12-point game on their home floor, in which Zack Novak was easily the team’s MVP. Michigan was down the entire game, and by double digits through most of the second half. The game was at least as much of a blowout as the final score indicated.

Since Last We Met…

The Wolverines’ once-sure tourney bid has declined into a bubble that has moved inches closer to bursting ever since the demoralizing Badger loss. The team has struggled on offense since losing to Wisconsin, and instead has recently re-invented itself as something of a defensive unit (maybe not a stellar one, but good enough to win some games). Good wins like Illinois and Purdue have been interspersed with losses like Iowa and near-losses like Indiana. A 10-2 start has turned into an 8-9 slide ever since.

Wisconsin started out the season very strongly, but has also gone on something of a slide lately. They seem to have turned it around as a 6-game losing streak flipped over to a 5-game winning streak before succumbing to the Spartans a week ago in their last outing.


Both teams need this win to enhance their tournament resumes. If Michigan can come away with a big road win, they might be just one win in the Big Ten Tournament away from clinching their first ticket to the Big Dance since 1998. The Badgers are in similar situation, and have the home-court advantage in this one, a big advantage. Wisconsin is now solidly in the tournament, but a losing streak to end the season could be devastating.

KenPom predicts a 66-58 Wisconsin win in a 58-possession game. He gives Michigan just a 20% chance of emerging with the win in the Kohl Center.

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