It’s a early season showdown for Wisconsin basketball in only their second game of the season. Tomorrow, the Badgers welcome #9 Tennessee into the the Kohl Center. Tennessee made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament last season before falling to Florida Atlantic, who ended up making it to the Final Four. Wisconsin is coming off a 105-76 win over Arkansas State Monday night. Tennessee is coming off an 80-42 win over Tennessee Tech.
The Volunteers bring back a ton of production from last years team. It’s a veteran team with a lot of success over the last few seasons. Can Wisconsin basketball get a major resume win tomorrow? Tip time is 8 PM on Peacock. Here is a preview of tomorrow night’s game.
Will Wisconsin Basketball Get Connor Essegian Back?
It was little bit of a scary scene Monday night when Connor Essegian went down with an injury after going for a rebound. Essegian did not return to the game, but was on the exercise bike a majority of the time. Wisconsin basketball is calling it an upper body injury. It is unclear if he will be ready for tomorrow night.
I think Connor Essegian has a big role on this team. While he is coming off the bench, he’s one the better bench player sin the Big Ten and is one of Wisconsin’s best shooters. He has the ability to get hot from behind the three fast. He also has the ability to shoot the jump shot as well. His production is needed in a game like this.
Can Wisconsin Basketball Get Production From Their Bench?
If Connor Essegian can’t go, where does Wisconsin basketball get production from on the bench? We will likely see Nolan Winter, Carter Gilmore, Isaac Lindsey, and John Blackwell. I don’t see Greg Gard going much deeper than nine players, if even nine players. Gilmore and Lindsey are not seen as players who can make a huge difference, although I do feel confident giving Lindsey looks. I am not sure what the Badgers will get out of Winter and Blackwell as they are true freshmen playing in the toughest game of their young careers.
If the bench for Wisconsin can get 20 points tomorrow, I like the Badgers shot at an upset. This is where the potential loss of Connor Essegian would hurt. He could get you 10-15 easily off the bench. It’s a lot of production the bench has to potentially replace.
This isn’t breaking news, but Wisconsin basketball can’t give up 76 point to Tennessee and expect to win. They won’t score 105 points either. I am really excited to see the atmosphere of the Kohl Center tomorrow night and I think this is a great test for a young team. A Wisconsin loss is not a a big deal tomorrow.
This is a very good Tennessee team coming into Madison. They are experienced and have been successful under head coach Rick Barnes. Players like Josiah-Jordan James, Dalton Knecht, and Santiago Vescovi all have the ability to lead this team in scoring on any given night. They are a balanced group and they have been fun to watch the last few seasons.
Wisconsin basketball is going to have to lock down on defense and play this game at their pace. I think the Badgers match up well with the Volunteers, but can players like Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl stay in the game and avoid foul trouble? Both struggled with this against Arkansas State. They both have to play 25+ minutes to keep the Badgers in this game.
I expect Wisconsin basketball to stay in this game for a majority of the time. They will have their moments and momentum. I just think at the end of the day, the experience for Tennessee comes into play. I don’t see this team being phased coming into the Kohl Center environment. If this was a February game, I think I take the Badgers in a home upset. However, it’s only the second game in a young season for a young team. Because of that, I will take the Volunteers and think they pull away in the final six minutes.
Tennessee 73 Wisconsin 67
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