Following a quarterfinal win against the Oregon Ducks, the Wisconsin Badgers are preparing for their semifinal showdown against the North Texas Mean Green.
This will be the first-ever matchup between these two squads, and one can expect a low-scoring affair in this game.
North Texas is coming off a 65-59 win against the 1-seeded Oklahoma State where the game was in fact tied at 55 before heading into overtime. Yet strong defense and just enough offense propelled them into the semifinals.
North Texas is still yet to allow 60 points in the NIT thus far.
North Texas and Wisconsin rank 22nd and 23rd in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a defensive battle between the two teams.
The Mean Green are led by senior guard Tylor Perry who averages 17.3 ppg on 43% shooting. He also shoots an impressive 42% from three and 87% from the free-throw line.
The Badgers faced a similar player in Darius McGhee of Liberty in the second round of the NIT. He tore up the Badgers' defense, scoring 31 points and almost sending the Flames into the quarterfinals.
However, the difference between North Texas and Liberty is that Liberty averaged close to 75 ppg this season while North Texas averages just 64.7 ppg, ranking 382nd in the country.
North Texas also has the slowest adjusted tempo in the country according to Kenpom, ranking dead last at 383rd.
The Badgers, however, aren’t much better as they sit at 342nd.
It will definitely be a challenge to score for the Badgers on Tuesday, and they will likely struggle to shoot the ball well from three due to North Texas’s strong perimeter defense.
But the Badgers themselves are also a very good defensive team, and it would come as no surprise if this game finishes with both teams scoring less than 60 points.
At the moment, the Badgers are 1.5-point underdogs entering the game.
The game will be broadcasted on ESPN at 6 PM CT on Tuesday night.