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1/23 Big Ten Preview: Wisconsin at Northwestern

Preview all of Monday’s Big Ten action.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten wasn’t supposed to have a Monday night game, but the league will get one after Wisconsin and Northwestern’s game was rescheduled. This figures to be an important opportunity for both sides to build their NCAA resumes.

Let’s take a look at the schedule.

Game of the Day:

-Wisconsin Badgers at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 6:30PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Northwestern by 4

In a lot of ways, this season has gone similarly for Northwestern and Wisconsin. The teams entered the season with underwhelming expectations and overachieved initially before falling on some tough times in January. Both are now hoping to get things turned around as we quickly approach the most important weeks of the season. Add in some COVID-19 issues for the Wildcats in recent weeks and this one will be even trickier.

For Wisconsin, the key needs to be exploiting an inconsistent Northwestern frontcourt. The Wildcats have a lot of diversity there and can rotate different lineups, but it hasn’t been the strength of the team. That gives the Badgers a great opportunity to control the boards, slow down the pace, and play a comfortable style of basketball. It’s a major opportunity for Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl to make their presences felt.

On the other side, Northwestern should have an advantage in the backcourt and is playing at home. Boo Buie and Chase Audige have been particularly good in recent weeks, The obvious question is who will be healthy enough to play on Monday night. It’s anyone’s guess heading into the matchup and is easily the most important factor for the Wildcats.

One area to keep an eye on is finishing at the rim. Both offenses struggle at finishing at the rim, so it’s an area where both could take some major steps with modest improvement. Wisconsin’s size in the frontcourt also looks like an interesting factor here.

All told, Northwestern would seem like a solid pick if the teams were healthy. However, the Wildcats are likely going to enter this one down at least someone. As such, Wisconsin seems like the safer pick.

  • Pick: Wisconsin


Picks Record: 73-25-0