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Michigan - Wisconsin Preview

Michigan opens the Big Ten Tournament tonight against Wisconsin.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Who: Michigan (20-14-0) vs Wisconsin (4-25-5)

Where: Joe Louis Arena

When: Thursday, March 19th. 8:00pm

TV: BTN

About Wisconsin

It hasn't been that long since these teams last played but man, when it rains it pours.

The Badgers haven't won since February; they rank 56th in scoring offense at 1.71 GPG, 55th in goals allowed at 3.65 and they've been shut out in 5 of their last 7 games. The coaches think that the players don't trust what the they're trying to do offensively and assistant coach Gary Shuchuk called fans "idiots" in a newspaper interview.

Things aren't going very well in Madison, but there are still positives. Freshman Adam Rockwood and Cameron Hughes have been playing solid hockey the second half of the year and look like program building blocks going forward.

In net Joel Rumpel is a rock and has put together some great performances that have ended in losses due to lack of goal support. Rumpel won't be able to steal an entire tournament, but if the Wolverines aren't careful he can steal a game.

Outlook

In their own net, Berenson said on the teleconference that he hasn't decided on a starter yet. I would expect it to be Steve Racine.

Michigan is 4-0 against Wisconsin this year. They got quite a scare in the first meeting, but this Badger team can't hold leads or put together 60 minutes. If the forwards are in rhythm expect Zach Hyman, Dylan Larkin, Alex Kile and the rest of the skill forwards to carve this team up.

Win and advance. Lose and the season ends.