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Badger Basketball Preview: Indiana Hoosiers Edition

The Basics

Where: The Kohl Center in Madison Wisconsin
When: Sunday, February 5th; 12 pm CT
Channel: CBS
Spread: Wisconsin -11
All-Time Series: Indiana leads 95-71
Last Meeting: Wisconsin won 75-68 on January 3rd, 2016

Projected Starting Lineups

Indiana Hoosiers (15-8, 5-5)

G Josh Newkirk – Jr. 6-1, 195 (8.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G Devonte Green- Fr. 6-3, 186 (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg)
G Robert Johnson- Jr. 6-3, 195 (14.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg)
F Juwan Morgan- Jr. 6-8, 230 (6.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.3 apg)
C Thomas Bryant- So. 6-10, 255 (13.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.3 apg)

*Indiana leading scorer James Blackmon Jr. is questionable after missing the last two games.

No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (19-3, 5-1)

G Bronson Koenig- Sr. 6-3, 190 (14.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G Zak Showalter- Sr. 6-3, 185 (8.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.3 apg)
F Nigel Hayes- Sr. 6-8, 240 (13.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.1 apg)
F Vitto Brown- Sr. 6-8, 235 (7.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C Ethan Happ- So. 6-10, 280 (14.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.8 apg)

Matchup to Watch: Ethan Happ vs Thomas Bryant

As Wisconsin fans are well aware, Ethan Happ is having an outstanding season. Leading the team in points, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals in Big Ten play, the sophomore sensation is in a tight race for Big Ten Player of the Year with Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan. Swanigan has been on fire over Purdue’s last few games, so Happ needs a big game to keep up.

Bryant, despite being overshadowed by the two other sophomore big men in the conference, has put together an impressive season. The potential first round pick is averaging 13.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. With James Blackmon Jr. sidelined for the last two games, Bryant dominated, scoring 54 points and grabbing 23 rebounds. The game many not end up being particularly close, but the battle between Happ and Bryant will be one worth watching.

3 Numbers to Know

6– That is how many AP Top 10 teams lost on Saturday. Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Virginia, Arizona, and Kentucky all suffered upsets, leaving the door wide open for Wisconsin to make a huge leap in the polls with a win against Indiana.

17– That is Wisconsin’s three-point field goal percentage over their last two games. In wins against Rutgers and Illinois, Wisconsin hit only 10 of 53 three-pointers. Water always finds it’s level, so the Badgers are due for a hot shooting game.

14– That is how many games Wisconsin has won out of the last 16 times they played the Hoosiers. Wisconsin owns Indiana and they own Tom Crean. I actually want Indiana to sneak into the tournament this year so Crean can keep his job, and Wisconsin can keep dominating him. 

Prediction

A lot of crazy things have happened in college basketball this season, but Tom Crean and Indiana winning beating a top ten Wisconsin team in the Kohl Center without two starters would be the craziest. It’s just not going to happen. The Badgers are due for a hot shooting day. This one will be over before half-time.

Wisconsin 84- Indiana 61

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