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Nebraska Men’s Basketball in Matchup with the Sixth Ranked Wisconsin Badgers: Preview and Game Thread

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Is this game a must win for Nebraska? I’m starting to think so. Their inability to win a conference game on the road makes these games at home a requirement to even be in the conversation to make the NCAA tournament.

One of the most recent bracketologists had Nebraska as one of the “Last Four In”.

Until Nebraska actually pulls it off, it appears to be safe to say that Nebraska will not win a road conference game the rest of the season. They have five more chances in games at Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan.

Well tonight the game at hand is against the 6th ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Nebraska should have some confidence in playing highly ranked teams since they recently knocked off #1 ranked Purdue.

This is an experienced Badgers team as they returned all five starters from last year’s team that made it to the semifinals of the NIT.

As usual, Nebraska is going to hope that Wisconsin struggles just enough from the outside and that the Huskers do not go on their patented eight minute scoring drought and appears to be plaguing this team this season.

Nebraska will need to continue to get the free throw line and limit open shots by the Badgers.


Pertinent Info

Time: 7:31 p.m.

Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE.

TV: Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Nick Bahe.

Radio: Thursday’s game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington and will also be available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app. The pregame show begins an hour before tipoff

Looking at Wisconsin from Huskers.com:

Under ninth-year coach Greg Gard, Wisconsin comes into Thursday’s game with a 16-4 record and in first place in the Big Ten with an 8-1 mark. The Badgers have lost just twice since Nov. 17 and have won three straight following an 81-66 win over Michigan State last Friday night.

The Badgers returned all five starters and 13 letterwinners from a team that went 9-11 in Big Ten play but reached the NIT semifinals. This year, Wisconsin featured the same lineup for all 20 games. St. John’s transfer AJ Storr leads the Badgers in scoring at 15.9 ppg while Steven Crowl (11.9 ppg; 7.5 rpg) and Tyler Wahl (11.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) give the Badgers an experienced frontcourt. Junior guard Chucky Hepburn chips in 7.5 ppg and leads the Badgers in both assists (3.8 apg) and steals (2.0 spg).

Series History: Thursday’s matchup is the 39th meeting between the two programs, as Wisconsin holds a 22-16 advantage. Wisconsin snapped NU’s two-game win streak in the series with an 88-72 win in Madison on Jan. 6. Prior to that win, NU had won two straight, a 74-73 win at No. 10 Wisconsin in the Kohl Center in the 2022-23 regular-season finale and a 73-63 overtime win in Lincoln on Feb. 11, 2023. In both of those games, Nebraska rallied from a double-figure deficit to win. The series dates back to the 1903-04 season. The Huskers are 6-16 against Wisconsin since joining the Big Ten (5-15 in regular season; 1-1 in Big Ten Tournament).

Last Meeting: Keisei Tominaga had a team-high 17 points to lead three Huskers in double figures, but No. 21 Wisconsin hit a season-high 13 3-pointers in an 88-72 victory on Jan. 6. Tominaga hit 7-of-10 shots from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers, while Rienk Mast added 16 points and six rebounds as Nebraska saw its five-game win streak snapped. Tyler Wahl led five Badgers in double figures with 17 points and eight rebounds. Nebraska shot nearly 50 percent from the field, including 12-of-26 from 3-point range, but the Badgers shot 55 percent from the field, including nearly 60 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.