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12/15 Big Ten Basketball Preview: Wisconsin Hosts Nicholls State

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only one Big Ten game tonight as we’re in the middle of what is finals week for a number of schools across the country. Let’s take a look at the action set for tonight.

Game of the Night

Nicholls State Colonels at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Time/TV: 8:00 PM ET BTN

In tonight’s lone game the Badgers will host Nicholl State. Wisconsin got off to a strong start this season with a run that included wins over Texas A&M, Houston, Saint Mary’s, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Indiana. That win over the Hoosiers was on the back of a wild second half comeback and a massive Indiana collapse down the stretch. Things came crashing last time out, as Wisconsin lost on the road to a ranked Ohio State. In that game they had another sluggish offensive performance, shooting 33.8% from the field, 23.1% from three and 5 of 9 from the charity stripe.

The struggling offense isn’t exactly new for a team shooting sub 40% from the field, sub 30% from three and averaging 68.4 points per game. Wisconsin has slightly limited their offensive woes with a mix of stout defense, (usually) making their free throws and limiting turnovers. Johnny Davis has been huge, leading the Badgers in scoring in six of the last seven games, averaging 20.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per outing. Brad Davison continues to perform at the level he has throughout his career, while no one else on the roster is averaging more than 8 points per game.

Tonight they face a 7-3 Nicholls State that is ranked 233rd in the KenPom rankings. The Colonels have won three in a row, though two of those games were against lower division schools. Through ten games Nicholls has played four lower division schools, going 3-3 against the Division I programs they have played. Ty Gordon paces the team with 19.1 points per game, while the three leading scorers all play in the backcourt. Nicholls State has shot better from the field then Wisconsin, but that has came against bad defenses and lesser competition. Mix that with only hitting 60.4% from the line and about 12 turnovers per game and that doesn’t bode well going up against a Wisconsin team that makes the most out of opposing teams mistakes.

Wisconsin should bounce back nicely with a win tonight.

Pick: Wisconsin