Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers Preview
Where: Verizon Center— Washington, District of Columbia
When: Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Michigan Wolverines (23-11, 10-8 Big Ten)
Michigan barged into the finals of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament with a thrilling 84-77 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Four players scored in double figures for the Wolverines who will be appearing in just their third Big Ten championship game. Michigan won the first inception of this tournament back in 1998 and it hasn’t done so again since.
The last time the Wolverines made the final was in 2014, ending in a heart-breaking loss to arch-rival Michigan State. Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin were freshmen on that Michigan team and now they’ll get a second chance to bring home that coveted championship. Walton played the game of his life in the semis win against Minnesota, finishing with a career-high 29 points, nine assists and four rebounds. He scored 11 of his 29 points in a game-defining 14-6 second-half run that tilted the match in Michigan’s favor.
Next up for Michigan is a final clash against Wisconsin. Momentum is definitely with the Wolverines who have defeated Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota in the Big Ten tourney since their plane skidded off the runway earlier in the week and delayed their arrival in Washington D.C. Michigan’s offense has been on fire during this stretch, averaging 77.7 points over its last three games.
Michigan is 6-4 ATS in its last 10 meetings with Wisconsin.
Betting on the Wisconsin Badgers (25-8, 12-6 Big Ten)
The Wolverines’ offense may be firing on all cylinders right now but that won’t faze Wisconsin in Sunday’s much-anticipated Big Ten final. The Badgers have been exceptional on the defensive end, allowing a Big Ten-low 61.5 points per game this season. Wisconsin displayed its defensive prowess in the semifinal win against Northwestern, holding the Wildcats to a measly 48 points. It was the 18th time in 33 games that the Badgers surrendered 60 points or fewer this season.
The Badgers, who will be making their seventh championship game appearance against Michigan, held the Wildcats to just 34.6 percent shooting on Saturday. That’s quite a performance by Wisconsin considering Northwestern shot a combined 57.7 percent overall and 45.7 percent from 3-point range during its previous victories over Rutgers and Maryland. It appears the Badgers have righted themselves after that horrid stretch at the end of the regular season in which they lost to Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa in succession.
That being said, the Badgers will need to be wary of the red-hot Wolverines. Michigan has won nine of its last 11 games. The Wolverines also split their season-series with the Badgers, with Michigan prevailing in their last meeting on February 16, 64-58. Advantage, however, lies with Wisconsin when it comes to the freshness factor. The Wolverines will be feeling a little bit ragged in Sunday’s Big Ten final as they will be playing their fourth game in as many days.
Wisconsin is 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS in its last 10 games.
Michigan (+1.5) completes its fairy tale run with a 67-62 win over Wisconsin.
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