Wisconsin's 2nd-half drought leads to 71-56 loss to MI

Justin Greene
March 13, 2017

MI reached its first Big Ten title game since 2014 and just the third in its history, having only won the inaugural tournament title in 1998.

Wisconsin, the highest remaining seed at No. 2, was the forgotten semifinalist.

MI didn't even know if it would make it to Washington, D.C., for the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan's Big Ten tournament experience began with its charter flight skidding off the runway on Wednesday, delaying the Wolverines' arrival until a few hours before their opener against IL on Thursday. The result prompted the only offensive struggle of the game for either team as MI harassed the Badgers into 1-of-10 shooting to start the decisive half. MI won the Big Ten Tournament in 1988, but hasn't brought home the crown since.

They hype is surrounding the Wolverines right now.

As they did in their quarterfinal victory over in, the Badgers got contributions from up and down the lineup. UW ended the first period on a 12-3 run, spurred by three baskets from redshirt sophomore forward Ethan Happ. Defensively, Northwestern is yielding 64.9 points against the opposing teams. He's an undersized senior point guard who does it all for the Wolverines. However, the Wolverines then had a hard time getting open looks inside and scored only one more field goal in the period - a straightaway three from Irvin. All five games will be broadcast live by BTN.

Zak Showalter was fabulous.

MI sophomore center Moritz Wagner was slowed down by foul trouble in the quarterfinals against Purdue, but got off to a quick start against Minnesota.

Vitto Brown hit 2 of 5 three-pointers and contributed eight points and eight rebounds.

Freshman guard D'Mitrik Trice had six points and three assists. The lead got as big as 33 late in the second half, and it never dipped below 15 after halftime. According to a UW official, Iverson flew home to OH late Friday because of a death in the family. Find out all the latest information about the Big Ten Tournament, including maps, parking, fan guide, schedule, and any late breaking news you need when attending the games. He finished with 14 points, but it took him 16 shots to get there.

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes sensed this Big Ten Tournament might turn out the way it did.

Northwestern looked out of sync from the start, missing its first seven shots.

The Wisconsin Badgers (24-8) are coming from a 70-60 win over the Indiana Hoosiers in which Bronson Koenig scored 16 points in 6-for-12 shooting from the field. Happ also provided 12 rebounds to go with 14 points as Wisconsin saw five players score in double figures. Against Northwestern, Happ made 8-of-11 from the free-throw line.

But Wisconsin struggled mightily on offense to start the second half.

Northwestern had a chance to spark its crowd after a UW turnover, but McIntosh missed an open three-pointer in transition.

UW finally put on the afterburners to eliminate any doubt. The ball movement was stagnant. He scored 22 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds as he also had two steals and four made three-pointers en route to the team's upset victory. He hit two free throws with 1 minute, 8 seconds left to pull UW within 65-54.

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