The No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (14-6 overall, 8-5 Big Ten) have traveled to Lincoln, Neb. for Wednesday night’s matchup against the struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-10 overall, 0-7 Big Ten). Nebraska, who recently came off of a nearly month-long COVID pause, is in the midst of playing five games in nine days due to reschedulings around the conference.
They lost at Michigan State by 10 on Saturday and at Minnesota by 18 on Monday and will follow up their game with Wisconsin with a game on Friday against No. 6 Illinois and then traveling to Penn State for a Sunday afternoon tilt. Brutal schedule tbqh. The game against the Badgers is their first game in exactly a month.
Wisconsin and Nebraska have already played once this year, a 67-53 UW win a few days before Christmas, but the game was closer than the final score indicates. You may remember that the Badgers only scored three points in the first 10 minutes of the game and were only beating the Huskers by one at halftime and Nebraska was winning after the first TV timeout in the second half. UW then went on a 16-0 run to put the game away, but it was just a bit more difficult than expected.
Not much has changed for NU since the first game. They are still a poor shooting team that plays quickly and, while their defense is average, they give up way too many three point attempts. Normally, that would be music to Wisconsin’s ears but the Badgers have been struggling, even on open looks, to find the bottom of the net from beyond the arc.
I am going to take a positive stance on this game, however. I think this is just the game that gets the Badgers back on track this season. Nebraska stinks, they’re going to be exhausted from traveling (and losing), one of their best players (Teddy Allen) may not play due to disciplinary reasons and...well...Wisconsin is kinda due, right?
I’m calling it right now. The Badgers make over 45% of their threes against Nebraska or I’ll do a shot of Malort after the game. Hooooo baby, a lot riding on this.
How to watch/listen
TV: BTN, 8:30 p.m., CT, Kevin Kugler, Shon Morris
Streaming: FOX Sports App
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
Line: Wisconsin -12
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 83%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- The Badgers have won 13 of the 17 meetings since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011, going 6-2 in Lincoln. The Badgers lead the all-time series, 19-14.
- Wisconsin has won five straight over Nebraska, including a win earlier this season, 67-53, at the Kohl Center and a season sweep last season.
- The Badgers are 5-0 this season after a loss.
- As we mentioned in a post earlier today, the Badgers NCAA Tournament resume is still pretty solid despite the struggles over the past couple of weeks. They have eight Quad 1/2 wins and only Alabama (11), Illinois (11), Gonzaga (10), Creighton (nine) and Purdue (nine) have more.
- The Badgers have seven wins over the top-50 on KenPom too.
- In the two meetings last season, the Badgers went a combined 33-for-65 (.508) from 3-point range. Wisconsin set a school record with 18 made triples against Nebraska on Jan. 21, 2020.
- They rank fourth in the Big Ten this season shooting 36.5% from 3-point range, Wisconsin has won its last 17 games when hitting 10+ triples in a game (5-0 this season). UW is 7-1 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game.
- However, in their last five games, the Badgers have shot 37-of-124 (29.8%) from three and, not coincidentally, are 2-3 in that time period.
- Including a mark of 3-3 in Big Ten road games this season, Wisconsin is 15-11 in conference road games over the last three years.
- The Badgers lead the Big Ten allowing only 63.1 ppg this season and rank No. 3 in FG pct. defense (41%).
- UW averages just 9.3 turnovers per game, No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 3 in the NCAA. The Badgers turnover rate is just 13.8%, fourth-lowest in the NCAA.
- While at Wisconsin, senior Micah Potter has averaged 11.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his career meetings with the Huskers, shooting 55.6% FG (15-27) and 41.7% 3FG (5-12).
- Senior Nate Reuvers has scored in double figures in each of his last five outings against Nebraska, averaging 10.1 ppg (6-12 3FG) all-time vs. NEB.
- In the pair of meetings vs. Nebraska last season, senior D’Mitrik Trice averaged 13.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 5.5 apg, posting his only career double-double with 11 points, 10 boards and 3 assists on Jan. 21, 2020 at the Kohl Center.
- Over the last five games, Reuvers has been settling in, averaging 10.8 ppg and shooting 59.0% FG (23-39) and 71.4% FT (5-7).
- Nebraska has held both of its last two conference opponents to under 40 percent shooting, the first time that has happened for the Huskers since January of 2019.
- NU is just 6-of-32 from 3-point range since returning to action after a month-long COVID pause.
- Nebraska is No. 24 nationally and tops in the Big Ten in tempo according to KenPom, while Wisconsin is No. 325 nationally and last in the Big Ten.
- The Huskers are in the midst of a hectic week, playing their third game in five days (in three different states). NU, which returned to action on Feb. 6 after a nearly month-long pause, played at Michigan State Saturday night before traveling to Minnepolis on Monday. NU, which returned to Lincoln late Monday night, took its required off day today before facing Wisconsin on Wednesday.
- Teddy Allen is one of only four newcomers among power conference players averaging at least 17.0 points per game as of Feb. 7. Allen is currently sixth in the Big Ten at 17.2 points per game, including 19.6 ppg in NU’s five games against ranked opponents. Allen didn’t play against Minnesota earlier this week (due to disciplinary reasons) and will be a game time decision against the Badgers.
- Trevor Lakes enters Wednesday’s game against Wisconsin needing one point to reach 1,000 for his college career
Updated starting lineups at 8:30 p.m. CST, Feb. 10.
- D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8, redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, sophomore, forward, No. 5
Micah Potter, 6-foot-10, redshirt senior, center, No. 11Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11, senior, forward, No. 35
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
- Lat Mayen, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 11
- Derrick Walker, 6-foot-8, junior, forward, No. 13
Trevor Lakes, 6-foot-7, senior, forward, No. 14Teddy Allen, 6-foot-6, junior, guard, No. 0
- Trey McGowens, 6-foot-4, junior, guard, No. 24
- Dalano Barton, 6-foot-9, sophomore, guard, No. 45
For those who forgot to celebrate yesterday.