Michigan’s trip to Wisconsin has been circled on the schedule since it was announced because it marks Juwan Howard’s return to the Kohl Center after last year’s post-game melee. While that drama might be enough to tune in for, the two teams on the floor are grasping to hold onto their seasons.
The Wolverines let one slip away against Indiana and need multiple road wins to play their way back into relevance. Wisconsin lost in overtime at Nebraska on Saturday and is just 14-10 (6-8) on the year, losing 8 of its last 11 games.
Tonight’s tilt (9:00 p.m., ESPN2) is a matchup between two teams desperate to play in the NCAA Tournament but also two teams running out of time to turn their seasons around. The Wolverines have the better computer ratings (53rd) and better conference record (8-6) but an ugly 3-9 record in close games. The Badgers are ranked 71st according to KenPom but are an impressive 9-6 in close games with five coveted quadrant one victories.
With a pair of games to play against each other in the next two weeks, how the two teams matchup could shape how both programs finish the regular season.