After delaying the game by two days, the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (15-3 overall, 6-2 Big Ten) will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-13 overall, 0-8 Big Ten) on Thursday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb. The Huskers haven’t played since Jan. 17 due to COVID-19 concerns in their program which is the reason why the game was pushed back to Thursday from Tuesday.
Wisconsin hasn’t played since last Friday, a loss to Michigan State, but have won seven of their last eight outings. The Huskers, on the other hand, have lost six in a row and 11 of their last 12. Their only win in those dozen games came against Kennesaw State, who is ranked No. 209 by KenPom.
Thursday matinee in Nebraska pic.twitter.com/zWpwADfBoJ— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 27, 2022
The status of starting forward Tyler Wahl is still unknown, but we’ll get an update closer to tip-off from UW. If he can’t go again, which, if he isn’t at 100% is the correct decision, Ben Carlson may get another start, but Carter Gilmore could get a look or if the Badgers go super small to start, Jahcobi Neath.
These next four games (at Nebraska, vs. Minnesota, at Illinois, vs. Penn State) are a change for UW to rack up some wins before the brutal stretch run to the schedule. A road trip to Illinois (30%) is currently the only game where they have under 78% chance of winning according to KenPom.
Some players to watch out for when the Huskers have the ball include freshman stud Bryce McGowens who is adept at getting to the free throw line, grad transfer point guard Alonzo Verge who is one of the top assist guys in the conference, and big man Derrick Walker who has a true shooting percentage of 71.2, which is third best in the whole country.
Freshman wing CJ Wilcher provides some long range shooting off the bench, which the team desperately needs as they shoot 29.8% as a team.
Nebraska is a bad offensive rebounding team, both getting them and keeping their opponents from getting them, so Steven Crowl and Chris Vogt could have a field day on the boards.
Wisconsin is the superior team in basically every statistical measure you could conjure up, but the Huskers are not a team to be taken lightly, especially at home. They’ve taken OSU to overtime and lost to Illinois and Indiana by 10 points or fewer at The Vault, as their arena is known.
How to watch/listen
TV: BTN, 4:00 p.m. CT, Chris Vosters, Trent Meacham
Streaming: FOX Sports App; FOX Sports
Radio/Satellite: WIBA 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
DraftKings Line: Wisconsin -7.5
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 80%
Torvik Wisconsin win percentage: 78%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Thursday’s game will mark the 35th-ever meeting between Wisconsin and Nebraska in a series that began in 1904.
- The Badgers lead the all-time series, 20-14, winning 14 of the 18 meetings since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011.
- The all-time series is tied, 8-8, for games played in Lincoln, but the Badgers are 7-2 at Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten.
- The Badgers have won six straight over Nebraska, including a pair of wins last season. UW won in Madison, 67-53, and at Lincoln, 61-48, last year.
- In the 18 games since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Huskers have averaged a mere 57.9 points per game against the Badgers.
Always proud to participate in Coaches vs. Cancer #SuitsAndSneakers Week— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 25, 2022
This year takes on new meaning
Coach Gard will wear pink shoes, while staff and athletes will wear pink laces in support of Gard’s mother, Connie, who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer pic.twitter.com/MMQQc13A3s
- Brad Davison has scored in double figures in six of his eight career meetings with Nebraska, averaging 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists per game against the Huskers over his career.
- Davison has shot 43.9% 3FG from 3-point range during his career against Nebraska and when Wisconsin played at Nebraska 2/15/20, Davison matched his career high with 30 points, tying the school record with eight made 3-pointers.
- He is second in the B1G shooting 43.1% on 3FGs during conference play this season.
- If Davison makes two three-pointers against Nebraska he will Wisconsin’s all-time leader for three-pointers made, passing Bronson Koenig. If he records one assist he will move into tenth place all-time in that category. Three free throws made moves him into the top-ten there too.
- Winners of seven of their last eight games, UW is averaging 78.1 ppg over the last eight games, topping 70 in all of the games.
- The Badgers are 9-1 in games decided by six or fewer points.
- UW has seven wins away from the Kohl Center.
- Johnny Davis is the only Big Ten player to lead his team in ppg (22.3), rpg (7.4) and apg (2.7). He is fifth in the nation in scoring.
- Davis has increased his scoring during conference play, leading the Big Ten at 24.4 ppg.
Johnny Davis went from national afterthought to National Player of the Year front-runner.@JeremyWoo on his self-motivating path, his poker face and the twin brother who’s helped him blossom: https://t.co/K36HeqfofB pic.twitter.com/LiEe6brQOp— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 26, 2022
- UW ranks second in the Big Ten shooting 75.7% at the FT line and has made 89 more FTs (268) than its foes (179).
- Wisconsin leads the NCAA in fewest turnovers per game (8.4).
- Wisconsin’s strength of the schedule ranks No. 2 in the NCAA according to ESPN.
- The Badgers have 10 top-100 wins, according to KenPom.com, the most of any team. In fact, seven of those 10 wins have come against top-50 teams.
- Nebraska has been shooting the ball better of late, shooting .466 percent from the floor, including .397 from 3-point range, over the past seven games dating back to Dec. 22. NU is averaging 8.0 3-pointers per game in that stretch.
Nebraska Basketball is back in action this Thursday as both @HuskerHoops & @HuskersWBB take on Wisconsin at PBA.— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) January 25, 2022
Buy a ticket for the MBB game at 4pm and you can use it for the WBB game at 8pm afterwards!
#GBR | https://t.co/HGAoE4Z5Wg pic.twitter.com/ksplK2xIaY
- Point guard Alonzo Verge is first in the Big Ten in assists (105 total) and fourth in steals.
- Derrick Walker is one of four NCAA players - and two from power conferences - shooting over 70 percent from the field and the free throw line as of Jan. 24. Walker, who is averaging 9.8 ppg, is the only one of the four averaging more than seven points per game.
- Bryce McGowens’ five 20-point games this season is tied for third all-time by a Husker freshman and is the most by any NU freshman since Joe McCray had a school-record 10 in 2004-05.
- McGowens is tied for second in the country in freshman scoring with Auburn’s Jabari Smith. In first is Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
- Johnny Davis, 6-foot-5, sophomore, guard, No. 1
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 5 (trying to speak it into existence)
- 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
- Alonzo Verge, Jr., 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 1
- Bryce McGowens, 6-foot-7, freshman, guard, No. 5
- Lay Mayen, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 11
- Derrick Walker, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 13
- Keisei Tominaga, 6-foot-2, sophomore, guard, No. 30
Status Update at Nebraska:— brandon harrison (@brandonharrison) January 27, 2022
Tyler Wahl will return to action and is ACTIVE today for Wisconsin