clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Keys to win

Can the Badgers snap their three-game losing streak on Saturday?

Syndication: Asbury Park Press Mark Hoffman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Coming in on a three-game losing streak, and with their most recent loss being to the Michigan Wolverines (3-9 in the Big Ten, 8-15 Overall), the Wisconsin Badgers badly need a win.

The team is running out of time to right the ship before the Big Ten Tournament starts, and failing to do so will only make things tougher.

Up next are the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who are currently riding a two-game winning streak.

Can the Badgers pull themselves together? There are many variables that will factor into this game, let’s take a look at some of them.

Why Wisconsin should win this game

Despite their horrid stretch, Wisconsin has still shown the ability to be a dangerous team as they still rank in the top five in personal fouls (4th), turnovers (2nd), and free throw percentage (2nd) in the Big Ten. They also are still sixth in three-point percentage.

This team is also still ranked in the top 20 in Basketball Power Index (17th) and strength of record (14th).

This team absolutely can win this game; they just have to get back to playing the brand of basketball they played prior to this losing streak.

Why Michigan should win this game

Perhaps the most important thing: they’re hot, and Wisconsin’s not.

Rutgers has confidence entering this game, and that matters. This game feels a lot different than I thought it would two weeks ago, and I’m sure they feel the same way.

Sadly for the Badgers, confidence isn’t the only good thing Rutgers has going for them.

Rutgers enters this game 2nd in the conference in offensive rebounds per game at 13.0.

They’re fifth in steals (7.1) and second in blocks (5.2). They play with great hustle and defense, which has helped them overcome a lackluster offense.

Luckily for them, they’re facing a very cold offense that also hasn’t been that great defensively.

X-Factor: A.J. Storr

AJ Storr has been a remarkable pick-up for head coach Greg Gard.

He leads the team in scoring and shows the ability to take over games seemingly at will.

The problem? It doesn’t always look like he’s part of the offense, but merely hijacking it.

Too often he pulls up to take a contested shot mere seconds into the clock, or misses easy passes because he’s trying to not lose the ball on his dribble drives.

If he can mesh with the rest of the unit a little better, we ought to see more efficient basketball from all involved.

Final Prediction: 68-61 Wisconsin