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Roundtable: Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes Preview Discussion

The BTPowerhouse chats about one of the Big Ten's biggest games this season.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

With Wednesday's major matchup between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers, it seemed like a good time to bring BTPowerhouse's writers together and get their thoughts heading into the game. It's certainly a huge game for both sides and could shape each's Big Ten title and NCAA Tournament chances.

Check out the discussion below.

1. What Are Your General Thoughts On This Matchup and What Does It Mean Going Forward?

-Thomas Beindit: This is one of those games that will undoubtedly have massive ramifications for both Iowa and Wisconsin at the end of the season. If Iowa wins, the Hawkeyes keep pace in the Big Ten title race and will likely be a win or two away from clinching it. If Wisconsin wins, the Badgers get really close to locking up an NCAA Tournament at-large bid and become an outside contender for the conference title. Needless to say, the conference title and an NCAA Tournament bid could reasonably hang in the balance of this one.

-Noah Morris: For Iowa, this is a team that's still competing with a very legitimate shot at the outright conference title. This game has to mean everything to them, especially with them trying to bounce back from losing 2 out of their last three, with a less than impressive showing against Minnesota sandwiched between two losses. If they're going to get back on track, now is the time for the Hawkeyes.

For Wisconsin, this is a team that to some people is in and to some people is on the brink when you're talking about the NCAA tournament. A road win against the desperate Hawkeyes would do wonders for their NCAA hopes, but also for their Big Ten tournament seeding, this is a big game for the Badgers. This is a group that needs a bounce back effort after getting run out of the gym against Michigan State last week, what better opportunity than top ten competition on the road?

-Marco Knudsen: Who would have thought that Iowa would be ranked number eight in the country in late February and Wisconsin would be in the bubble conversation at this time of the season as well? This will be a fun matchup as Iowa will look to derail Wisconsin's hopes of making the NCAA tournament and keep their impressive résumé going.

Iowa has had exactly one week to digest the loss to Penn State and get ready for the Badgers. Too much rest can sometimes make a team rusty, but in the case of the senior-laden Hawkeyes, this could be just what they needed to end the regular season on a high note.

2. What's The Matchup To Watch When Iowa and Wisconsin Tip-Off?

-Thomas Beindit: For me, it's got to be on the wing. With Nigel Hayes and Jarrod Uthoff facing off, it should be one of the best battles of the season between two of the conference's best players. Plus, considering that Uthoff is in a fierce race to be the Big Ten Player of the Year, there's even a bit more on the line.

-Noah Morris: Everyone wants to see Nigel Hayes and Jarrod Uthoff go head to head in this big game. They'll certainly have their battles, but it's tough for either team to throw one guy at the other and ask them to both lock down on defense and have the offensive performance their team is going to need. Both guys can go down low and score either with the shot, both are prolific at getting to the free throw line, and both can extend their game out to the three point line. Uthoff is a better outside shooter, but I'd give the advantage in the post slightly to Hayes. It'll certainly be an interesting head to head as often as it happens.

-Marco Knudsen: I'm interested in seeing a possible matchup of Ethan Happ vs. Adam Woobury. Nigel Hayes and Jarrod Uthoff are the deserving stars, but Happ is making the case for a conference Freshman of the Year award and Woodbury is a senior looking to help guide the Hawkeyes to a long tournament run in March. Happ's development over the course of the season has been nothing short of spectacular, and his versatility could cause problems for Woodbury.

3. Who Wins On Wednesday Night?

-Thomas Beindit: Give me Iowa. Maybe it sounds simple, but even with Iowa's recent struggles, I don't think I'm ready to pick against the Hawkeyes yet, especially at home. Wisconsin is still playing really well, but for me, I think Iowa comes out hungry and with a lot of energy and gets a big win.

-Noah Morris: The way I see it, losing two out of three for Iowa could have possibly been a blessing in disguise. Of course, no coach or player ever wants to lose games, especially at this time of the year. But maybe, just maybe, it refocused this team and has gotten them back on the right track. I expect them to play very well, and I think they get the win at home. Hawkeyes win, 76-65 at Carver-Hawkeye.

-Marco Knudsen: Iowa's three-point shooting could be the main reason why they come away victorious. The Hawkeyes shoot just about 40% from the perimeter as a team, and have one of the most prolific offensive players in Uthoff. Badger coach Greg Gard has his team playing well, but winning at Carver-Hawkeye arena as the road team has not happened this season. Iowa continues the home stand with a 72-63 victory.


Iowa and Wisconsin will tip-off at 9:00PM ET on BTN.