Wisconsin will look to keep the momentum from its victory over then No. 16 Illinois going on Saturday when it hosts Indiana Thursday evening a 9:00 P.M on the Big Ten Network.
The No. 17 Badgers (13-4, 3-2) are looking to move into a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with Illinois and Michigan State, who both sit at 4-2 in Big Ten play. Thanks to 26 points from Jon Leuer and 22 from Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin comfortably defeated Illinois at home on Saturday. The victory gave the Badgers their second win over a top-25 opponent this season.
The Hoosiers (10-8, 1-4) will be looking to keep a little momentum of their own going. After dropping its first four conference games of the season, Indiana came out and laid the wood to Michigan on Saturday night, winning by 19 points and leading by double digits for most of the night. The Hoosiers got 24 big points from Verdell Jones III in the win, as well as 17 from leading scorer Christian Watford and 13 from guard Jordan Hulls.
Keys to the game after the jump.
When Indiana Has The Ball
- Christian Watford has been inconsistent in conference play, so look for the Badgers to try and get him off his game. Michigan didn't have much luck slowing him down, but the Wisconsin defense is a different animal entirely. The Badgers can have success if they get to him early.
- Another big night from Verdell Jones III would got a long way for the Hoosiers. The guard is averaging only 12.8 points per game this season. If he can lift that to even close to his 24 points from Saturday night, it'll be a big boost for Indiana.
When Wisconsin Has The Ball
- The Hoosiers can't let Wisconsin's big two scorers go nuts like Illinois did or it'll be a long night at the Kohl Center. Leuer is one of the best players in the conference, so it'll be hard to slow him down, but Taylor is still trying to establish some consistency. If Indiana can get in his head a little bit, that would be good news for them.
- If Wisconsin can attack Watford on the offensive end, it'll really make the Badgers' job more easy on defense. Forcing him from the game with foul trouble early on would be a big momentum shift in a game that Indiana needs all of the momentum to win.
Wisconsin is as good at home as it is for a reason. Indiana is making progress, but it's probably not on the level to walk into an environment like the one and Madison and escape with a win. A little defense and some responsible offense from the Badgers tonight and in all likelihood, Wisconsin will cruise.