Pick to Click: Wisconsin at Michigan

Pick to Click is sponsored by Moe Sport Shops.

If you don’t know the rules you can read them hereAll players are eligible for this game.

Please remember to use the same name and e-mail address that you have used for previous games or your selection will not be counted toward your overall tally. You are welcome to join in at anytime but you might have some catching up to do if you missed earlier games. We’ll do our best to get a standings update posted after this game.

Video: John Beilein Previews Wisconsin

Here’s John Beilein on what his team needs to do to beat the Badgers tomorrow. The video is split up into two parts today. The second part begins with him talking about Evan Smotrycz. As usual, notes and quotes are after the jump. Make sure to check out the interviews with Jordan Morgan and Tim Hardaway Jr. below as well.
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Video: Jordan Morgan and Tim Hardaway Jr. Talk Wisconsin

Jordan Morgan and Tim Hardaway Jr. were available today to discuss where the team stands, what they’ve learned since playing Wisconsin the first time, and what it will take to frustrate the methodical Badgers.

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Tuesday Links

Opposition Q&A: Bucky’s Fifth Quarter

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We like to do question and answer sessions for big games, so it was convenient when Phil from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter requested we do a feature for Wednesday’s showdown at Crisler Arena. They run a great site that covers all things Wisconsin and it is definitely worth a read from time to time. To start with, you can find my answers to his questions over there. Now, here’s your Badger talk.

Jordan Taylor is by all accounts phenomenal…. What are his two greatest strengths and what would you say are one or two weaknesses?

One of Taylor’s greatest strengths is his physical strength. Everyone can see he’s built like a running back. That ability to absorb contact is part of the reason Taylor can finish so well at the hoop. His strength also helps him protect the ball against pesky defenders, keeping his turnovers to a minimum. Another advantage for Taylor is his attitude. He stays in control of the game because of his confidence in his own abilities and those of his team. Taylor keeps his emotions in check but at the same time is almost always smiling. He is a great leader who has earned the respect of his team and makes the other four guys on the floor better.

By Taylor’s own admission, he waited too long against Purdue to hunt his own shot, which is odd considering he had just carried the Badgers against Ohio State. Taylor is not the quickest point guard either. We recently saw the relentless Lewis Jackson bother Taylor with his tight defense and quicker feet.

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Big Ten Roundup: February 21st, 2011

Team W L Poss. Off. Eff Def. Eff Eff. Margin
Purdue 11 3 65 1.13 1.01 0.12
Wisconsin 10 4 57 1.18 1.06 0.12
Ohio State 12 2 63 1.13 1.02 0.11
Illinois 7 7 64 1.06 1.01 0.05
Minnesota 6 8 62 1.06 1.07 -0.01
Penn State 7 8 58 1.08 1.10 -0.02
Michigan 7 8 61 1.06 1.11 -0.05
Michigan State 7 7 63 1.04 1.09 -0.05
Northwestern 6 9 63 1.07 1.14 -0.07
Indiana 3 11 64 1.04 1.11 -0.07
Iowa 3 12 65 0.99 1.10 -0.11

The updated scatterplot of this chart lives here.

One team continues to prove critics and writers wrong. Matt Painter’s Purdue Boilermakers continue to prove that they are surviving just fine without Robbie Hummel. In fact, it becomes scary to consider how good the Boilers could be with Robbie Hummel. Bloggers and writers (myself included) scoffed at seemingly radical Purdue fans that claimed the Purdue offense wouldn’t miss a beat and would even be better without Hummel. Now with just two weeks remaining in conference play, the Boilermakers are just a game out of first place and tied with Wisconsin for the league’s best efficiency margin. That Purdue offense that was ripped in the pre-season is averaging 1.13 points per trip, .08 more than last year’s iteration. Sure, E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson – both likely First Team All Big Ten performers – are a nice fall back plan to Hummel but Matt Painter should be the favorite for the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award.

The middle of the the Big Ten remains muddled. Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Michigan, and Penn State are all tough to pick apart and are apparently in the thick of this week’s bubble talk. Illinois remains the most efficient of the bunch but still has to play road games at Purdue and Ohio State. There will be plenty of opportunity to settle the differences over the final two weeks of the regular season. – Dylan Burkhardt

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