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Badger Basketball Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knight Edition

The Basics

Where: Madison Square Garden
When: Saturday, January 28th; 11 am CT
Channel: BTN
Spread: Wisconsin -13
All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads 5-1
Last Meeting: Wisconsin won 72-52 on December 27th, 2016

Projected Starting Lineups

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (11-9, 3-4)

G Corey Sanders – So. 6-2, 181 (12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G Nigel Johnson- Jr. 6-1, 186 (11.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.2 apg)
F Eugene Omoruyi- Fr. 6-6, 230 (2.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg)
F Candido Sa- Jr. 6-9, 227 (4.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .3 apg)
C C.J. Gettys- Sr. 7-0, 246 (9.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, .6 apg)

15 Wisconsin Badgers (16-3, 5-1)

G Bronson Koenig- Sr. 6-3, 190 (14.3 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 (13.9 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 (7.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)

Players to Watch: Bronson Koenig vs Corey Sanders

 

Saturday’s game in Madison Square Garden will feature two of the best point guards in the Big Ten. Both Koenig and Sanders are leading their respective teams in scoring. They have also been playing very well recently. Koenig has hit 15 out of his last 26 three-point attempts, while Sanders is averaging nearly 19 points per game over his last four games.

This game may not be particularly close, but the point guard matchup between Koenig and Sanders will be worth keeping an eye on.

3 Numbers to Know

20– That is how many points Nigel Hayes scored in Wisconsin’s previous meeting with Rutgers this season. No matter who they threw at him, Rutgers could not contain Hayes down low. He drew five fouls, and converted all ten of his free throws. Where has that free throw shooting been?

138– That is Rutgers’ Pomeroy ranking. That makes them one of the worst power conference teams in America. The teams ranked directly ahead of Rutgers are Rice, Towson, and North Dakota State. That is not good.

4– That is how many games the 2014-15 Wisconsin Basketball team dropped. Two were to Duke. I don’t want to talk about that. One was a road game to Maryland. And one was to Rutgers. Two years later, I’m still shocked. That legendary Wisconsin team, the greatest in the history of the school, lost to Rutgers. Even without Frank Kaminsky and Traevon Jackson, it’s still shocking. Moral of the story? Anything can happen in college basketball. Even losses to Rutgers.

Prediction

Even though I just said anything can happen in college basketball, I don’t think history will repeat itself. For starters, this game is at Madison Square Garden. How could you not be ready to play at the mecca of basketball? I think Wisconsin wins this one pretty handily.

Wisconsin 80, Rutgers 59

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