On Sunday, alumni of the Michigan men’s basketball team congregated at the Crisler Center for the dedication of the new practice building, the Player Development Center. Wolverine great Cazzie Russell challenged the team, claiming that now that Michigan has first-class facilities, the production on the court has to follow.

Message heard.

With a No. 18 Wisconsin team in desperate need of a win coming to town, Michigan held firm in “the House that Cazzie Built” and routed the Badgers, 59-41, to give Michigan coach John Beilein his first win against Wisconsin.

“Of the jerseys that were hanging, three of them (Russell, Rudy Tomjanovich and Phil Hubbard) were here and it was really nice,” Beilein said. “They only spoke for about 30 seconds each, Cazzie maybe for a minute. And it was probably better than any locker room speech that any coach can ever give. Because (the current players are) looking at tradition, they’re looking at history, pride.”

The Wolverines out-Wisconsined Wisconsin by playing stingy defense, hustling to earn extra possessions and hitting free throws to give the Badgers their third-straight loss.

In a game played at a slow pace — characteristic of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan — Michigan (3-1 Big Ten, 13-3 overall) held the Badgers to just 31-percent shooting and forced their lowest output of the season — 13 points fewer than the previous low.

At the half, the Wolverines led 25-19 behind a balanced scoring attack. And five minutes into the second half, Wisconsin was still stuck at 19. Michigan was able to gain some distance on the Badgers, starting off the second frame on a 7-0 run.

Freshman point guard Trey Burke befuddled Wisconsin’s star point guard, Jordan Taylor. The All-American, who had been averaging 20 points per game in Big Ten play, couldn’t find an open shot against the Columbus native. He scored just 12 points and managed only one assist to three turnovers — the inverse of his assist-to-turnover ratio for the season.

“Trey did a phenomenal job on Jordan Taylor,” said sophomore forward Tim Hardaway Jr. “And that’s what we expect for him throughout the whole entire season. Just him being himself, taking the challenge and being a freshman who he is, he’s not going to back down from no one. So great job on his part.”

Burke also took it to the Badgers offensively. He pulled off two crafty drives in the second half to extend the Wolverine lead to 17 with 10 minutes remaining. He finished with 14 points.

“I told Trey before the game,” said senior guard Zack Novak. “He’s a young guy, he doesn’t know everything yet. I went up to him, I go ‘I haven’t beat them yet, so get it done for me.’ ”

Hardaway Jr., who hasn’t been able to buy a jump shot the past couple weeks, came through with a couple of 3-pointers to help build the Wolverine lead. The sophomore forward also made seven of his eight free throws to help him to a game-high 17 points.

“He just was very selective,” Beilein said. “You play Wisconsin, it’s not a time to get thirsty. It’s a time you’ve got to be very selective, and he was. I love the quality of the 3-pointers that we took.”

The Wolverines bounced back emphatically from Thursday’s 73-71 loss at Indiana, showing that they can keep pace with the 12th-ranked Hoosiers and No. 6 Ohio State, the other one-loss teams that sit behind conference leader Michigan State (3-0, 14-2).

“We took more of the approach that we could use that loss to help us win today,” Novak said. “Sulking over it’s not going to help us. If we use it to get a win today, then it’s worth it.”

Wisconsin (1-3, 12-5) never threatened Michigan in the second half. The closest it came to a single-digit deficit came when Traevon Jackson nailed a 3-pointer to make it 36-26.

But it was just one of very few open looks the Badgers could muster in the game.

“(That was) probably the best I’ve seen us play defensively,” Novak said. “Everyone was just on the same page all night with our rotations, switches. There was never a play that I remember where someone just blatantly missed an assignment. When everyone’s there mentally and playing hard, those are the two biggest things with defense.”

That’s one way to beat the Badgers for the first time in five years.

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