ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Mike Smith had 16 points and six assists, and No. 7 Michigan remained unbeaten with another dominant performance, routing No. 9 Wisconsin 77-54 on Tuesday night.
The Wolverines (11-0, 6-0) turned this Big Ten showdown into a blowout with a 43-6 run that spanned parts of both halves. It was another masterpiece for coach Juwan Howard’s team, which became the first in college basketball history to beat three ranked opponents in a row by at least 19 points.
Michigan set the one for this one with its rim protection. The Badgers (10-3, 4-2) struggled to finish plays around the basket early on, and the Wolverines had six blocked shots in the first half alone.
Michigan led 26-23 before scoring the last 14 points of the half. A steal and dunk by Franz Wagner made it 33-23. Smith followed that with a steal and a layup. Wagner then drove the baseline and dunked for a 14-point advantage.
The start of the second half wasn’t any better for Wisconsin. A 3-pointer by Eli Brooks made it 47-26, and a 3 by Smith made it 54-26. Finally, a layup by Chaundee Brown gave Michigan an almost incomprehensible 69-29 lead.
The last time Michigan started the season with a run like this was when the Wolverines were 17-0 during the 2018-19 season. Wisconsin actually ended that unbeaten streak, but the Badgers didn’t come close to a repeat performance.
Wagner had 15 points and 10 rebounds. D’Mitrik Trice led Wisconsin with 20 points.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have been a bit of a thorn in Michigan’s side over the years, and they entered this game having won seven of their last 10 at Crisler Center. But on this night, their 3-point shooting (9 of 28) was not nearly enough to make up for all their problems inside the arc.
Michigan: After taking down three straight ranked teams by an average of 22.3 points, the only real concern for the Wolverines at this point is they might be playing their best basketball in January. If they look anything like this in March, they should be considered a national title contender.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have a chance to rebound quickly when they play at Rutgers on Friday night.
Michigan: The Wolverines go on the road Saturday for a rematch at No. 23 Minnesota.