The Iowa basketball is heading to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in their second game without Fran. Here is the full preview.
With the Iowa basketball team in the midst of a two game slide, this game’s importance only continues to increase. Wisconsin is currently ranked 21st in the nation in the AP Poll with a 20-9 record, and they are 17th in NET rankings so this not only presents a quadrant one win opportunity for the Hawks, but it presents a huge marquee win considering it’s on the road.
However, the key factor is whether or not the Hawkeyes offense will show up or not.
Wisconsin’s defense is one of the best in the country. Ranked 6th overall by KenPom in terms of defensive adjusted efficiency margin, the Badgers are allowing just 61.6 points per game (11th best in the nation).
The last time these two teams faced off, back in December, Wisconsin held the Iowa basketball team (which is averaging 79.7 points per game) to just 66 points, which is Iowa’s second lowest scoring output of the season.
Much like the last few games, the Hawks shot terribly against the Badgers hitting just 25% of their three-pointers and 39% of their overall shots. Tyler Cook and Luka Garza, however, had great games combining to score 30 points and bring in 18 rebounds against Wisconsin’s star forward Ethan Happ and Nate Reuvers.
More importantly, Iowa’s aggressive attack, although not overly effective, forced the Badgers into foul trouble. All starters had at least three fouls and three guys total had four fouls or more with Ethan Happ fouling out in the waning minutes.
Despite being one of the better teams at limiting fouls, the Badgers found themselves in an unfamiliar position.
The Iowa basketball team needs to get back to their attacking ways and put pressure on Wisconsin as they did in the first matchup. Although the Badgers are talented, the Hawks match up quite well against them.
On offensive side for Wisconsin, the Hawks need to be cognizant about the whereabouts of D’Mitrik Trice who had a game-high 20 points the last time these two teams faced. Unfortunately, the Iowa basketball team hasn’t quite figured out how to guard talented guards quite yet, which could mean Trice is in for another fantastic game.
If the Iowa basketball team can feed the big men down load, and hit just a few shots consistently on the perimeter they should be able to walk away from Madison victorious. If not, we could be in for anther double-digit loss.
Tip-off for this game takes place at 6 PM Central Standard Time, and this game will be aired on ESPN.