Michigan Basketball: Wolverines make history in rout of Wisconsin

Michigan basketball made some history Tuesday night becoming the first team to win three straight games against ranked teams by 19 points or more.

Boy it’s fun to be a Michigan basketball fan right now and that feeling was only amplified by what we saw the Wolverines do to Wisconsin Tuesday night at the Crisler Center.

For the third straight game, Michigan basketball didn’t just beat an opponent, another one ranked in the top 25 by the way, the Wolverines demoralized them — beat them into submission.

You could tell midway through the second half that Wisconsin was toast. After allowing Michigan to go on — what was it — a 36-3 run — the Badgers were ready for the bus trip home and the post-game meal.

Just like the Wolverines did against Minnesota and Northwestern, the second half wasn’t all that competitive and the last few minutes were spent clearing the bench in a 77-54 win.

In case you missed it, the win also brought some history with it as the Wolverines became the first team to beat three straight ranked opponents by at least 19 points.

And against Wisconsin, the Wolverines did it with suffocating defense.

The game was close late in the first half when Michigan closed on a 14-0 run. On the last possession of the first half, as the clock was winding down, the Badgers didn’t even get a shot off.

It was that toughness, both mental and physical, that has allowed Michigan to dominate the competition recently and while you didn’t think it would extend to Wisconsin, the Badgers were powerless to stop the freight train that is Michigan basketball.

Freshman sensation Hunter Dickinson wasn’t even as good as he has been. He scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots, but he struggled early offensively and still, it didn’t matter.

That’s because Isaiah Livers shot the lights out early and scored seven of Michigan’s first 11 points. He finished with three triples and a total of 13 points.

Franz Wagner also made a trey and six other field goals as he scored 15 points. The 6-foot-9 sophomore also tore down 10 rebounds and had four steals.

Also, in his biggest test as U-M’s point guard, Mike Smith was outstanding, scoring 16 points, dishing out six assists and burying two 3-pointers.

More impressive is the fact that the Wolverines held Wisconsin to 54 points overall and 30 percent shooting from the field. Wisconsin was also 9-of-28 from deep although some of those makes came in garbage time.

It’s been a historic run and while it doesn’t mean anything long term, it’s safe to say this Michigan team is as good as any in the Big Ten conference.