The I-94 rivalry of Wisconsin basketball and Marquette returns tomorrow in Madison.The Badgers will play host to the #3 Marquette Golden Eagles. Wisconsin has take the last two games in this series and three of the last four including an 80-77 overtime win in Milwaukee last year. The Badgers lead the overall series 70-59. Tip time is 11:30 AM on FOX. Here is a preview of tomorrow’s game.
Wisconsin Basketball Must Contain Tyler Kolek Again
Marquette’s Tyler Kolek is the best pure point guard in the country and I don’t think it’s close. He’s a fantastic floor general and can fill up the stat sheets. A big reason why Wisconsin has won the last two games in this series is because Kolek has only scored a combined 10 points on three made field goals. Everything Marquette wants to do starts with him.
I think a player like Kam Jones will get his buckets on this game, but if Wisconsin basketball can contain Kolek, I think the Golden Eagles are limited on offense. UW also has players like Chucky Hepburn, Max Klesmit, John Blackwell, and Kamari McGee that can defend him. I wouldn’t be surprised if all four got their shot at defending Kolek.
The Wisconsin Basketball Bench Will be Key
I’ll shoot my shot here and say Connor Essegian breaks out tomorrow, It’s been a slow start to the season primarily because of the back injury. However, I think he’s a player that played significant minutes in this game last year and he knows what he needs to do. I think he hits multiple threes.
UW also has a better and deeper bench. Expect the Golden Eagles to play seven or eight players. This is a game where Greg Gard will likely go 10 deep again. The bench played fantastic in Fort Myers and also played well Monday night against Western Illinois. I think this is big advantage for the Badgers
Wisconsin basketball won this game last year because they shot the ball well from three and got key defensive stops when they needed it. I think this is key tomorrow as well. UW has to shoot well from three, something they have struggled with to this point.
Marquette wants to make this a track meet. The Badgers played a track meet when they had to, but dictated the pace for most of the game last year. I don’t think this roster is built yet to get into a up and down pace of play the way Marquette wants to play. Limit their possessions and don’t give up offensive rebounds.
This has become a fun rivalry over the last five years. Both teams have played well and as Greg Gard mentioned the other day, it’s good for the state of Wisconsin.
I don’t know if Wisconsin can stop Tyler Kolek a third time, He’s too good I believe to be shut down three times in a row. However, I just like how the bench for Wisconsin is playing. John Blackwell and Connor Essegian can also get buckets so there is scoring threats on UW’s side.
This is going to be close game with a lot of points scored I believe. I like Wisconsin basketball with the home crowd and their complimentary style of play lately. I think they get a late bucket and hold Marquette at the buzzer.
Wisconsin 76 Marquette 74
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