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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Big Ten Conference opponents released

The Badgers don’t have to play at Rutgers this year, thank God!

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has released the Wisconsin’s Badgers men’ conference opponents for the upcoming 2022-2023 season. Dates and times have not been finalized for these games, but now we know who the Badgers will see twice (once at the Kohl Center, once on the road) and who they will only match up against once.

Wisconsin will play each of the following teams twice: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State

Now let’s get into who the Badgers will host in their only matchup of the season.

Avoiding East Lansing is a huge win for the Badgers. Despite a road victory there in 2022 thanks to a 25-point performance from Johnny Davis, the Breslin Center has not been very kind to Wisconsin in recent history. Since 2010, the Badgers are 2-8 when playing at MSU with their only other win coming in an empty arena during the 2020 COVID season, so... does it really count? On the flip side, the two teams are fairly even at the Kohl Center over that same period of time with the Badgers coming away with victories in six of 11 meetings. If you ask Greg Gard if he’d rather host the Spartans or travel to the Breslin Center, I think he’d laugh. Any year that the Badgers can stay clear of East Lansing is a good year.

  • Purdue

If you think the Breslin Center is a tough place for the Badgers to play, wait until you hear about Mackey Arena. The Badgers are a whopping 5-42 when playing Purdue on the road. Wisconsin’s 2021 first round tournament win over North Carolina was played at Mackey but is not included in that statistic given that it was used as a neutral site. UW was able to pick up a huge road win against Purdue in 2021 led by Johnny Davis and his 37 points (starting to notice a trend???) but have been historically awful in that building. If avoiding East Lansing is like hitting the jackpot in Vegas, avoiding Mackey is winning the Powerball.

Nobody ever wants to play at the RAC (I refuse to refer to it as Jersey Mike’s Arena). For whatever reason, Rutgers plays like a fringe Elite 8 team at home every year and a team that shouldn’t even be in tournament consideration on the road. Last season, Rutgers finished the season with an overall record of 18-14. The Scarlet Knights were 14-3 at home and 4-9 on the road. That being said, one of those home losses came at the hands of the Badgers. Regardless of how talented Rutgers is any given year, playing in Piscataway is never easy.

The B1G schedule makers did the Badgers three huge favors. Now, let’s take a look at the games where the Badgers will be the visitors in their only match up of the season.

  • Indiana

Since 1910, the Badgers are 31-56 in Bloomington but are 8-3 in their last 11. That being said, if the Badgers and Hoosiers are only going to play once, UW fans really wish it was going to be at the Kohl Center. The Badgers have won 19 straight homes games versus Indiana with the Hoosiers’ last road victory coming in 1998. Going to Assembly Hall isn’t the end of the world, but things are switched around in an ideal situation.

  • Nebraska

This article has talked about many places where the Badgers have struggled, but Lincoln, Neb. isn’t one of them. Wisconsin is 8-2 in their last ten road matchups with the Cornhuskers and will look to continue their success this upcoming season.

Regardless of where the Buckeyes and Badgers face off, the game always seems to be a bit of a toss up. Since 2009, the Badgers are 11-10 overall against Ohio State. Digging even deeper, UW is 7-4 at home and 4-5 on the road in those contests. Whereas avoiding the Breslin Center, Mackey Arena and the RAC are huge positives, having to travel to Ohio State doesn’t change much. Games between these two teams, at least as of late, tend to be decided by who shows up more prepared on any given day than the location of the game itself.