Michigan opened the Big Ten season with a 73-61 loss to Wisconsin. The Badgers did what they do and methodically ground Michigan down. They took a 20-9 lead about 7 minutes into the game and never really looked back. Wisconsin shot 59% from the field and they made their 3 point attempts count as they went 6-14 from deep.
Zack Novak started the game and Jevohn Shepherd was back to coming of the bench. Novak responded by playing one heckuva game. He scored a career high 20 points on 7-11 field goals, including 5-8 on three pointers. Novak also corralled 8 rebounds. DeShawn Sims chipped in 14 points but did not secure his first board until there was 4:53 left in the game.
Manny Harris was frustrated by a fundamentally sound Wisconsin defense and some not so favorable no calls from the officials. He ended up with 9 points on 3-13 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 turnovers.
As a team Michigan shot 39% from the field and was 8-24 on three pointers.
Marcus Landry and Trevon Hughes scored 16 points a piece for the Badgers.
Inside the numbers: Michigan had 12 assists on 24 field goals and only turned the ball over 7 times. Wisconsin turned it over 8 times and out rebounded Michigan 30-26.
Notes: Michigan will be back in action on Sunday (Jan. 4) when the Wolverines host Illinois at Crisler Arena. Game time is scheduled for noon and will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
The road to 21 wins: This was not a game that I had Michigan projected to win. It would have been a good win but it does not derail my projection. With that being said I projected Michigan to win their next 3 games; Illinois, at Indiana, and Iowa. So this will be a critical 3 game stretch coming up.