Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-11, 2-5) @ Wisconsin Badgers (11-7, 4-3)
When? Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. CT
Where? Kohl Center, Madison, WI and on BTN
How Are These Teams Playing?
Nebraska, coming off three straight losses, will play a solid Badgers team for the first time this season. Last year, the Huskers were 0-2 against Wisconsin, including their close loss in the Big Ten Tournament.
While the Huskers have lost three straight, how they have lost three straight is more worrisome. Coming off the emotional victory at PBA against the Hawkeyes, the Huskers fell to Northwestern the next game. Although that was a three-point game with 20 seconds left, the Huskers were down by more than 15 for over half the game.
Next two games weren’t any better. The game against a struggling Ohio State was never really close, and the rematch against Indiana was much like Northwestern, as the Huskers got down in the second half and cut it close too little too late.
While there have been some bright spots, such as Thorir Thorbjarnarson’s resolve, Cam Mack’s playmaking and Charlie Easley’s hustle, it hasn’t been enough for Fred Hoiberg’s ragtag group.
Wisconsin, meanwhile, has put their tough three-game losing streak from late November (to Richmond, New Mexico and NC State). Their only losses since have been to Rutgers, Illinois and Michigan State, the top three teams in the Big Ten standings. In that stretch, they also have wins against ranked (at the time) Ohio State, Penn State and Maryland.
These Badgers are finding their footing. And that footing is led by big-man Nate Reuvers, who is averaging around 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks per game. Lucky for him, his 6’11” will tower over anyone on the Huskers. In fact, their third-leading scorer, Micah Potter, would also be a giant in Lincoln, listed at 6’10”. Watch out for those big men Tuesday.
Who’s Supposed to Win?
The Badgers, which should come as no surprise. They have a 94.2% to win according to ESPN’s BPI.
Who Will Win?
Unfortunately, if I was a betting man, I would have to say Wisconsin. While I think Fred will get this team to play better than the last three games, this could arguably be the hardest team they have played out of those last three (the Badgers beat OSU, so). Might be bold, but I say Huskers never trail by more than 12 and they keep it semi-close until the end.
Give me Wisconsin 67, Huskers 60