No. 2 Michigan Upset by Unranked Wisconsin as Ethan Happ Drops 26 Points

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2019

MADISON, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 19:  Isaiah Livers #4 of the Michigan Wolverines handles the ball while being guarded by Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers in the first half at the Kohl Center on January 19, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Badgers upset the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines 64-54 on Saturday, handing them their first loss of the season at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Senior forward Ethan Happ led the way with 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for a Wisconsin team that improved to 12-6 overall and 4-3 in Big Ten play.

The Wolverines fell to 17-1, but they are still among the top teams in the Big Ten with a 6-1 conference record.

The No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers are the only undefeated team remaining in Division I men's college basketball. They visit the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils on Saturday night.

Michigan got little out of its top two scorers Saturday, as leading scorer Ignas Brazdeikis was held scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting and Charles Matthews was limited to just five points.

The Wolverines led 27-25 at halftime and by as many as five in the second half, but after taking a 45-44 lead with 7:34 left, the Badgers never looked back.

Happ took over down the stretch with a number of huge plays, including a thunderous dunk with just over four minutes left to stretch the lead to six:

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Stadium's Jeff Goodman was among those who were blown away by Happ's performance:

He had a tough challenge on his hands against the frontcourt of Brazdeikis and center Jon Teske, but Happ was up to the task.

Teske did manage a nice showing with a team-high 15 points, but Sam Vecenie of The Athletic was impressed with how Happ answered—and exceeded—what Teske did:

Michigan struggled in essentially all aspects offensively, as it shot just 40.7 percent from the field, 27.8 percent from deep and 45.5 percent from the free-throw line.

ESPN.com's John Gasaway noted it was the Wolverines' worst offensive performance in more than two years:

Michigan also matched its season high with 16 turnovers, and Brendan F. Quinn of The Athletic pointed out it had no business keeping things as close as it did:

Though the loss knocked the Wolverines from the unbeaten ranks, they are still in great shape in terms of earning a high seed in the NCAA tournament.

On the other hand, Wisconsin needed a big win after losing four of its previous five, including a bad defeat at Western Kentucky.

The Badgers have a feather in their cap after beating one of the top teams in the nation, and it was clear their fans understood the importance of the victory:

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Wisconsin has a favorable schedule on tap that could help it get back inside the Top 25, provided it can beat unranked Illinois, Northwestern and Nebraska in succession.

Meanwhile, Michigan will look to get back on track Tuesday when it hosts Minnesota before taking on No. 25 Indiana in a road clash Friday.

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