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Wisconsin vs. Indiana: how to watch, game preview and open thread

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The Badgers open up Big Ten Conference play with a visit from Mike Woodson’s Hoosiers.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 07 Indiana at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 22 Wisconsin Badgers (7-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) men’s basketball team opens their Big Ten portion of the schedule on Wednesday night at the Kohl Center against the Indiana Hoosiers (7-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten). UW is riding a five-game winning streak while the Hoosiers recovered from a double OT loss to Syracuse last week by beating Nebraska earlier this week.

You will no doubt hear this stat on the broadcast, but the Hoosiers haven’t won at the Kohl Center since the year the building opened. That’s 18 straight losses! What’s even funnier is that isn’t even Wisconsin’s longest home winning streak over a Big Ten team (suck it, Penn State).

Obviously every team is different each year and this year’s Hoosiers team features a number of key contributors that have never even played Wisconsin, let alone at the Kohl Center.

There is one big returning piece for IU, however, and that is All-America big man Trayce Jackson-Davis. First year head coach Mike Woodson did his best recruiting job of the offseason when he convinced TJD to return for one more year in Bloomington to help boost his NBA Draft stock.

Jackson-Davis has thrived in Woodson’s scheme and is currently one of the best players in the nation, not just the Big Ten. He is a supremely efficient offensive player, a monster on the glass and one of the best foul drawers in the whole country. Steven Crowl and Chris Vogt are going to have their hands full on Wednesday night. I’d imagine that Ben Carlson will see some time too, most likely due to foul trouble for Crowl and Vogt.

On offense, the Hoosiers get to the free throw line a ton but aren’t especially adept at making their freebies. They aren’t a team that will shoot a ton of threes, but they do shoot them at an excellent clip (37.4%, No. 48 in the country). 6-foot-5 wing Parker Stewart is the guy UW will have to be aware of as he’s shooting 47.7% (21-of-44) from beyond the arc this year. IU is also prone to turning the ball over and Wisconsin would be wise to try and take advantage of that to get a couple of easy buckets in transition.

As far as their defense goes, they like to chase shooters off of the three point line and they are one of the best shot blocking teams in the nation. They also don’t give up many second chance scoring opportunities due to Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson corralling rebounds.

Per usual, the Badgers will need to value the basketball and try to make every possession count. Johnny Davis and Brad Davison will most likely be tasked with creating a lot of the offense for UW, but Tyler Wahl should be given the ball in the post early to see if Wisconsin can’t get a foul or two on TJD or Thompson. With Crowl’s ability to shoot the three, Jackson-Davis may not be as valuable as a rim protector, but Crowl will need to knock one down early to make IU respect that part of his game.

How to watch/listen

TV: BTN, 6 p.m. CT, Dave Revsine, Stephen Bardo

Streaming: FOX SPORTS App; Fox Sports

Radio/Satellite: WIBA 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas

Live stats: Here!

Arena: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.

DraftKings Line: Wisconsin -4
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)

KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 64%
Torvik Wisconsin win percentage: 60%

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • Wednesday’s game marks the meeting No. 174 between Wisconsin and Indiana dating back to 1910.
  • The Hoosiers lead the all-time series, 97-77, but the Badgers hold a 45-40 lead in Madison.
  • UW has won 22 of the last 25 matchups with Indiana, including eight of the last nine.
  • Greg Gard is 8-2 in his career vs. Indiana.
  • The Badgers are 18-1 against Indiana at the Kohl Center, with the Hoosiers only win coming in 1998, the building’s opening season.
  • UW’s 18 straight home wins over IU is the school’s second-longest streak vs. a Big Ten opponent, trailing it’s active 20-game home streak vs. Penn State.
  • Brad Davison has scored in double figure twice in five games vs. IU (14 points in 2018 and 11 points at Indiana in 2020. Tyler Wahl had 12 points (2-2 3FGs) in UW’s win last season.
  • Two of the last four games between these teams have gone into double overtime.
  • Wisconsin has won 16 of its last 18 Big Ten openers, including last season vs. Nebraska.
  • IU leads the Big Ten in defensive field goal percentage (35.3%), is second in blocked shots (6.3) and fourth in 3-point FG defense (25.2%).
  • Wisconsin leads the Big Ten allowing 59.1 ppg. The Badgers are No. 16 in the NCAA in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. Only one opponent (Georgia Tech, 1.05) has averaged more than 1.0 PPP in a game against UW this season. It should be noted that Houston and Marquette each averaged exactly 1.0 PPP against the Badgers.
  • Offensively, IU is third in scoring (80.4) and second in FG percentage (49.6%). In the last five games, IU is averaging 82.8 points on 51.0% shooting from the floor and 43.9% accuracy from long range.
  • UW leads the Big Ten shooting 79.5% at the free throw line and has made more FTs (120) than its opponents have attempted (117).
  • UW is second in the Big Ten averaging just 9.1 turnovers per contest.
  • IU’s Trayce Jackson-Davis is living up to his preseason accolades averaging 21.0 points (No. 3 in B1G), 8.6 rebounds (No. 5), shooting 64.4% from the floor (No. 2) and contributing 3.5 blocked shots per game (No. 1; No. 5 nationally).
  • Johnny Davis leads Wisconsin averaging 20.1 ppg and 5.6 rpg. He also leads UW in steals (11) and is second in assists (17). Davis is shooting 40.7% from 3-point range and 82.1% at the free throw line.
  • Jackson-Davis is currently No. 5 and Davis is No. 9 in KenPom’s national player of the year rankings. Six of the top-ten players are from the Big Ten.
  • IU’s Parker Stewart leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 47.7%.
  • Race Thompson is second in the Big Ten, and leads the Hoosiers, in rebounding averaging 8.9 per game.
  • Tyler Wahl leads UW in blocks (12) and is No. 6 in Big Ten.
  • Brad Davison is averaging a career-best 2.5 triples per contest this season, while shooting 33.9% from behind the arc. He is also No. 7 in the Big Ten shooting 83.8% (31-37) at the FT line.
  • With 43 more points, Davison will move into the top-ten all-time scoring leaders at Wisconsin, passing Mike Wilkinson.

Potential Starters

Wisconsin

  • Johnny Davis, 6-foot-5, sophomore, guard, No. 1
  • Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 5
  • Steven Crowl, 7-foot, sophomore, forward, No. 22
  • Chucky Hepburn, 6-foot-2, freshman, guard, No. 23
  • Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, super senior, guard, No. 34

Indiana

  • Xavier Johnson, 6-foot-3, junior, guard, No. 0
  • Miller Kopp, 6-foot-7, junior, forward, No. 12
  • Trayce Jackson-Davis, 6-foot-9, sophomore, forward, No. 23
  • Race Thompson, 6-foot-8, redshirt junior, forward, No. 25
  • Parker Stewart, 6-foot-5, junior, guard, No. 45

UPDATE, 12/8/21, 5:00 p.m. CT:

If you can’t read the embedded tweet, the following three players will miss the game with an illness (not COVID):

G Lorne Bowman II
G Jahcobi Neah
F Markus Ilver

Big blow to the guard depth for Wisconsin. Hepburn and Davison will have to play major minutes and Johnny Davis may be asked to provide some more playmaking.