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Wisconsin Basketball vs. Michigan: Analytics Game Prediction



Wisconsin basketball; Badgers head coach yells at the officials during the Purdue game
Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard argues a call during the first half of their game against Purdue Sunday, February 4, 2024 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

If you missed my latest Wisconsin Basketball Predictions, find them here:

Northwestern | Penn State | Indiana | Minnesota | Michigan St. | Nebraska | Purdue

It was a tough week for Wisconsin Basketball. That goes without saying. But all is not lost; from an Analytics Perspective, this is still a really good team.

Now, there’s still significant room for growth, especially on the Defensive End, but over the last four games, adjusting for how good the opponents are, they’ve improved drastically! Unfortunately, our Offense hasn’t maintained its red-hot status due to some questionable shot selection and ball security.

Once we get both of these rolling at peak levels, we will see a different level of play. I still firmly believe that this team has a Final-Four level ceiling, and I say that based on how they’ve shown they can be ELITE on both ends. It’s been shown more consistently offensively…but they have shown flashes (Sunday in particular) that they can play defense at a high level too! Not many Teams, if any, other than Purdue, can hit the offensive glass like that against us, but in forcing tough shots and turnovers, we caused the 5th worst Net of Turnover effective FG% output of the season. If we can do that and avoid Zach Edey as much as possible in the next 2 1/2 months, we’ll be okay.

Have faith; we’ll put it all together when it matters….and that’s March 21st – April 8th.

With that, let’s dive into the Prediction Model for Sunday’s matchup vs. Michigan!!!

Wisconsin Basketball Prediction Model

First, let’s start off with what comprises my Prediction Model (See Below):


Gard Your Fickell’s Model | 67 Projected Possesions

KenPom Model | 65 Projected Possesions

Torvik T-Rank | ???

Haslam Metrics | 64.02 Projected Possions = (Projected Points / “Should” OEFF)


Wisconsin Basketball has the Height advantage over Michigan, with an Average Height of 78.39 vs. 77.98 (inches). This does influence my DREB% Model but is only a part of the equation. Combining the overall Height advantage along with the other Metrics listed in the Model (3PAR, FTAR, 2P%, 3P%, and OPP OREB%), I can try to reasonably project DREB%.


Based on all the combined metrics in the DREB% Model, Wisconsin Basketball is projected to lose the DREB% advantage vs. Michigan, with an expectation of UW grabbing only 75.94% of their Defensive Rebound opportunities in Sunday’s Matchup vs. an expectation that Michigan grabs 72.4% of their Defensive Rebound opportunities.

DREB% is a huge component in Stop Factor, which is essentially my own Defensive Efficiency Metric. I’m still working on adjusting my DREB% model to account for past performance and see if a team can have outsized influence over the model metrics. Still debating over the HOW to do this:

  • Do I look at overall performance vs. the Model and regress over that?
  • Or regress over each factor and adjust each factor in the model?

This will probably take a few weeks to test out! But for now, we’ll stick with the current model.


Again, Wisconsin Basketball takes the loss in Stop Factor, coming in at a projected 1.49 Stop Factor to Michigan’s 1.27. For those unfamiliar with Stop Factor, it’s looking at a Team’s ability to be efficient on Defense.

That can come in various ways:

  • Low eFG% given up to your opponent
  • Forcing a lot of turnovers
  • Collecting a high % of Defensive Rebounds available.

Score Prediction & Model Table:

Final Thoughts on Wisconsin Basketball vs Michigan

Michigan is on a mudslide, losing five of their last five and ten of their last eleven.


But if we think walking into the Crisler Center without being locked in and ready to get the job done won’t get us sent home with the wrong result. You’re crazy.

Because, while their defense is very poor…Michigan’s offense is very capable. We don’t want to get into a shootout with this team, especially at home. We need to keep the defensive intensity we brought forth vs. Purdue. If we do that and fix our shot selection, we’ll be just fine!!

By the analytics, a ~7-Point Win is in our future Wednesday.

On Wisconsin!

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Gard Your Fickell is a leading authority on Wisconsin Badgers analytics, specializing in dissecting the intricate data behind football and basketball. With a deep passion for the game and an analytical mindset, Gard Your Fickell offers readers a unique perspective on the Badgers performance.