Michigan Wolverines vs Wisconsin Badgers - NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day Jan 16th

Wisconsin Badgers

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 7:09 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 7:09 PM GMT

The Michigan Wolverines season has been a "mixed bag of tricks" thus far as they've had ups and downs, but have managed to keep their games relatively competitive. Tonight, the Wolverines will need to be more than competitive as they square off against the 17th ranked team in the country in the Wisconsin Badgers. This is a big game for both teams, but more so for the underdog Wolverines.

Michigan Wolverines (12-6) vs #17 Wisconsin Badgers (14-3) 

Inter-conference play defines the quality of each college basketball team and in Michigan's case, they've held their own in being competitive, but haven't managed to pick up that big victory that respective teams need as they look for a desirable spot in the NCAA Tournament seedings.

As stated earlier, a win for the Wolverines, would be a "game-changer" in regards to March Madness. Easier said than done as the Badgers have held their opponents to a mere 60.2 points per game and possess wins over Indiana and Syracuse. Wisconsin has faced 5 top 25 squads this season which means that they're more than battle-tested and a good reason why they're a 10 point betting favorite in tonight's matchup at home.

Senior Smarts

With seniors Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes leading the way for the Badgers, they're in good hands as this duo has faced their fair share of battles at the collegiate level and Wisconsin has remained a consistent top 25 team.

As for Koenig, the team seems to lean in the direction in which he plays. Against Indiana and Ohio State, Koenig averaged 19 points per game while shooting a combined 10 for 12 from beyond the arc. In Wisky's recent loss at the hands of Purdue, Koenig didn't fare so well with just 9 points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field. This team will only go as far as Koenig take's them and tonight he will be put to the test as Michigan also possesses a formidable defense which allows under 70 points per game.

Forward Ethan Happ (12.9 points, 9.2 rebounds) will look to control the paint as every possession counts in this game ; a game that I think will be closer than expected.

Zak Irvin

For Michigan, they recently snapped a 2 game losing streak with a 91-85 victory over Nebraska. Michigan shot an outstanding 54% from the field to go along with 50% from 3-point range. Guard Zak Irvin stepped up with 21 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds and not always the efficient shooter, Irvin is the player that initiates the action in the Wolverines offense as he's an oversized 6 foot 6 guard that can get other players involved with his ability to pass the basketball along with grabbing the necessary rebounds. He's Michigan's go to guy and the Wolverines need a huge game from Irvin against Wisconsin.

Look for Michigan to keep this game competitive. Wisconsin doesn't possess a ton of offensive firepower. Their defense is the their key to success and 10 points is a lot to lay in a game like this.

 

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Wolverines +10 (-110)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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