Back on January 5th, the Iowa Hawkeyes had the then undefeated Wisconsin Badgers on the ropes up in Madison, Wisconsin. Iowa got off to a fast start in the game, but let an 11 point halftime lead go and eventually fell to the Badgers by a score of 75-71.
Wisconsin might be the hottest team in the conference right now coming off big wins against Michigan State and Michigan. Iowa is coming off a win against Penn State and a postponed game against Indiana. Iowa had the week off after they played Michigan two Saturdays ago and then had the week off after the Penn State game last Saturday, so they should be well rested.
Lets look at some keys to the game for these teams.
Slow the pace!
Wisconsin did a good job slowing down the pace against Michigan State and Michigan which eventually resulted in wins. The Badgers don’t have a lot of prolific scorers and would benefit from slowing the game down against an Iowa team that likes to play fast. Keeping the game in the 60′s or low 70′s would be beneficial.
Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, and Nigel Hayes have been really good over the last couple of games for Bo Ryan’s team. When Dekker is hot, he one of the toughest match-ups in the conference with his ability to stretch the floor with the three point shot. Kaminsky might be just as dangerous, the 7 footer can step out and hit shots from behind the arc, but has the ability to go down low as well. Hayes has been excellent off the bench for Ryan in the latter portion of his freshman season.
Balance the attack!
In the first match-up between these teams, Roy Devyn Marble took way too many shots, 24 to be exact. Melsahn Basabe and Aaron White will need to see more looks for the Hawkeyes if they want to beat a Wisconsin team that has a lot of guys that can beat you. Marble will get his shots, but he can’t become the black hole that we sometimes see.
Iowa got off to a killer start against Michigan and that got the Hawks Nest and the rest of the crowd involved early on. Iowa did get off to a fast start in Madison, but didn’t have the crowd to keep that energy flowing. Hitting early shots and turing up the pace of the game will help Iowa in this game.
This is a battle between two top 25 teams and should be a dog fight all throughout. Iowa is tough at home, but Wisconsin is experienced and is capable of beating the Hawkeyes on their home floor. If Iowa wants to remain in contention for the Big Ten title, this game is a must win.
The game against Wisconsin will tip off at 11 a.m. CT at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.