The final weekend of the regular season is here and Indiana has one last chance to make a mark on their resume before the postseason begins next week in Indianapolis.
Indiana hosts No. 24 Wisconsin on Saturday for senior day and it is an opportunity to not only pick up a key victory but a chance to avenge their first loss of the season. Indiana fell to Wisconsin 84-64 inside the Kohl Center on Dec. 7. It was the Hoosiers’ first road game of the season and they were outplayed from the beginning.
However, things have changed since the last time these two teams faced off. Indiana (19-11, 9-10 B1G) has gone through another inconsistent season and have won just one of their last three games. They defeated Minnesota 72-67 on Wednesday night in Bloomington. Meanwhile, the Badgers are in position to clinch the Big Ten title with a win.
The Hoosiers have defeated five ranked teams at home this season and can add another one to that total while spoiling the Badgers’ title hopes.
How to Watch
|Who||Wisconsin Badgers at Indiana Hoosiers|
|When||Saturday March 7, 2020 — 12 p.m. EST|
|Where||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall — Bloomington, Ind.|
|Tickets||Find the Lowest Ticket Prices on SeatGeek|
|Listen||IU Radio Network|
|Spread||IU -2.5 |
Getting to know the Badgers
Wisconsin (20-10, 13-6 B1G) was in the middle of the pack just a month with a 6-6 conference record. Since then, the Badgers have rattled off seven consecutive victories moving them into a three-way tie Maryland and Michigan State for the league’s top spot. Three of those victories came against conference opponents that are currently above .500 in league play.
The Badgers defeated Northwestern 63-48 on Wednesday night giving head coach Greg Gard his 100th win with the program.
Gard’s team is averaging 73.4 points per game during their current winning streak and are holding teams to an average of 64.0 points per game. Wisconsin’s scoring defense ranks second in the conference and 18th nationally allowing 64.3 points per game this season.
One of the Badgers biggest strengths is taking care of the basketball. They average just 10.0 turnovers per game and are sixth in the country in that category.
Junior forward Nate Reuvers leads the Badgers in scoring at 12.9 points per game and has scored in double figures in 24 games this season. In the previous matchup against Indiana, Reuvers recorded 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and four rebounds.
D’Mitrik Trice leads the team in minutes (32.0) and assists (4.2) per game. The junior guard averages 10.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 38.6% from the field and 38.4% from the three-point line. Trice’s scoring was not a key contributor against Indiana back in December as he scored just eight points. However, he was affective at getting the ball to his teammates, recording four assists and just one turnover in the contest.
Trice has recorded just one double-digit performance in the Badger’s last five games. He scored 28 points and made 10 field goals against No. 19 Michigan on Feb. 27.
Junior Brad Davidson is one of the team’s best free throw shooters hitting 86.3% of his shots on the season. Davidson averages 9.9 points per game but is capable of breaking through the scoring column. He recorded 30 points against Nebraska on Feb. 15 and 20 points against Minnesota last Sunday.
The Badgers shoot 35% from three-point line and have three players shooting over that mark: senior guard Brevin Pritzl (37.9%), Trice (38.4%) and junior forward Micah Potter (45.8%).
Projected Starting Lineups
|Wisconsin Badgers||Indiana Hoosiers|
|G: #0 D’Mitrik Trice (Jr.)||G: #1 Al Durham (Jr.)|
|G: #1 Brevin Pritzl (Sr.)||G: #10 Rob Phinisee (So.)|
|G: #34 Brad Davison (Jr.)||F: #3 Justin Smith (Jr.)|
|F: #2 Aleem Ford (Jr.)||F: #4 Trayce Jackson-Davis (Fr.)|
|F: #35 Nate Reuvers (Jr.)||C: #50 Joey Brunk (RS Jr.)|
What to Watch For
1. Winning the battle off the glass
Indiana’s road game against Wisconsin was the first time that the Hoosiers were outrebounded for the 2019-2020 season. With Indiana’s size, they have been able to win the battle of the rebounds for the majority of the season. To compensate for a lack of shooting — three point shooting and field goal shooting percentages — second chance points have been a way to keep IU in competitive games.
2. Wisconsin’s Offense without Kobe King
Wisconsin destroyed the Hoosiers in Madison behind the performance of their guard Kobe King who has announced his transfer to the Nebraska basketball program. In that game, King recorded 24 points, four rebounds and one assist.
In his replacement, the Badgers have relied on Reuvers for the majority of the scoring load. He’ll have to go up against Indiana’s frontcourt wall of Jackson-Davis, Brunk and Davis.
3. Can Assembly Hall create some jitters?
Greg Gard’s group had only four turnovers against Indiana in their dissection of the Hoosiers. Indiana had 12 in that game. For reference, the Hoosiers’ best game in terms of turnovers was six, which took place at home against Maryland.
The combination of playing on the road and Indiana’s relative improvement taking care of the rock should help Indiana win the turnover margin at the end of the day. Indiana is 3-9 in conference games when the opponents finish with less turnovers than the Hoosiers.
4. Sending off the seniors
With potentially the final games for Devonte Green and De’Ron Davis, Indiana will be sending off their four-year players on senior day. Both had quiet games against the Badgers in the early round, but this sets up well for Green and Davis to have big performances as their last game at home.
Green is averaging 17.7 points per game in his last three games at home.