In its toughest matchup yet, No. 7 Michigan affirmed its place atop the Big Ten and is nearing the top of the AP Top 25 poll with a 77-54 defeat of No. 9 conference rival Wisconsin.
The Wolverines went on a 43-6 run starting at 6:19 of the first half to kept their perfect season going, improving to 11-0 (6-0 Big Ten) with a win that was all but secured at halftime.
For Wisconsin (10-3, 4-2), D'Mitrik Trice led with 20 points.
- Mike Smith, Michigan: 16 PTS, 6 AST
- Franz Wagner, Michigan: 15 PTS, 10 REB, 4 STL
- D'Mitrik Trice, Wisconsin: 20 PTS, 2 REB
- Mike Potter, Wisconsin: 12 PTS, 6 REB
Dickinson's Quiet Start No Problem for Michigan
Just a freshman, Hunter Dickinson is the face of a perfect Michigan squad. Entering Tuesday, the 7'1" center paced the rest of the team in scoring with 18.0 points per game on 73.0 percent shooting from the field, good for second in the NCAA. He also averaged 8.1 rebounds.
He scored at least 18 points in six of Michigan's first 10 victories, and he posted a career-best performance in the team's last game against No. 23 Minnesota on Wednesday. En route to his fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor, he collected 28 points and eight rebounds in an 82-57 victory.
But on Tuesday, he tallied only two points in 12 minutes of play in the first half.
With their best player being shut down by the Wisconsin defense, other players gave the Wolverines their monstrous halftime lead. Franz Wagner tacked on 11 points, while Isaiah Livers tallied 10 points before the break.
Dickinson came alive in the second half, when he brought his total up to 12 points, but balanced scoring from across the roster gave the Wolverines their easy victory. Mike Smith led with 16 points, Wagner ended up with 15, and Livers knocked in 13. Michigan's bench players collected 16 points.
While the Badgers were successful in shutting down Dickinson at first, the rest of the roster made up for the loss, proving that the Wolverines are one of the most dominant teams in the hunt this season.
Defense Tops D'Mitrik Trice
The last time Michigan and Wisconsin played each other, D'Mitrik Trice stole the show. On Feb. 27, 2020, the then-redshirt junior led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, hitting five of six attempts from beyond the arc to carry the Badgers to the 81-74 victory.
This year, he's been just as successful. The leading scorer for the Badgers, Trice averaged 14.8 points per game entering Tuesday.
Even as Michigan pulled out to a halftime lead, Trice was the bright spot for Wisconsin, tallying seven points to lead the team in the opening half. But it wasn't enough.
The Michigan defense was too strong, holding the Badgers scoreless for final six minutes of the first half, while the Wolverines offense engineered a 14-0 run. The Michigan forced Wisconsin to turn the ball over 10 times and scored 15 points on those giveaways.
Trice ended his night with 20 points—nearly half of the score for the Badgers—but it wasn't enough to get past a doubly dominant Michigan squad.
The Wolverines have a rematch with No. 23 Minnesota on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Badgers will head east to face Rutgers on Friday.