Coming off a 71-60 road win against Ohio State Wednesday, Wisconsin basketball returns home tomorrow for a battle with the Northwestern Wildcats. The Badgers are 4-0 in league play while Northwestern is 3-1 in conference play and 12-3 overall. Can Wisconsin basketball widen their lead in the Big Ten and move to 5-0 in the conference standings? Tip time is 11 AM on BTN. Here is a preview of tomorrow’s game.
Wisconsin Basketball Has to Contain Boo Buie
Boo Buie is one of the best point guards in the Big Ten and the country. He is also a walking bucket. The senior guards leads Northwestern with 18 points a game. He is always moving around and is great off the dribble late in the shot clock. No matter how good of defense you’re playing, Buie can always shake the defender off.
This will be a challenge for Chucky Hepburn and Kamari McGee. Hepburn was too aggressive at times against Bruce Thornton Wednesday and Thornton made him pay with some easy jump shots. Buie will do the same thing and is great with floaters at the rim.
Everything Northwestern does will begin and end with Buie. Wisconsin basketball basketball needs to find a way to limit his productivity on both sides. If they make him work on both ends, I think the Badgers have a great shot to win this game.
Take Care of the Basketball
Both Wisconsin basketball and Northwestern are great at not turning the ball over,. The Wildcats turn the ball over the least amount of times in the Big Ten at 9.4 turnovers a game. The Badgers are just behind at 9.6
Possessions could be limited in this game. I don’t see this being a high scoring game. These Northwestern-Wisconsin battles usually are not. It usually comes down to who can win uglier.
Northwestern has a good group of four players. Including Boo Buie, I like the group of Ty Berry, Ryan Langborg, and Brooks Barnhizer. This group does everything and they all log at least 30 minutes a game.
On the other hand,, the Wildcats have a thin rotation. You’ll see Matthew Nicholson and Nick Martinelli. Both average 19 minutes a game. That’s about it in this rotation.
There’s no doubt Wisconsin is much deeper and has the advantage on the bench. After a tough 40 minutes battle Wednesday night, it will be interesting to see how much Northwestern has for legs in the second half. The Badgers, while playing more uptempo, can still make you defend for 20 seconds.
I mentioned in the Ohio State preview I didn’t think anyone on Ohio State could guard AJ Storr. I don’t see anyone on Northwestern defending Storr either. He has a chance for huge game I believe.
This is a tough Northwestern team and Wisconsin basketball will get everything they want and then some. The Wildcats are a much different team on the road. With the way the Badgers are playing, I don’t see them falling at home. Look for this to be a game Wisconsin pulls away in the second half.
Wisconsin 70 Northwestern 62
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