By Justin VanLaere
Iowa remains at home for the second straight game as they host the #15 ranked Wisconsin Badgers inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes are looking for the season sweep of the Badgers, something that hasn’t happened since the 90’s.
Iowa Hawkeyes (14-13; 6-8) vs Wisconsin Badgers (20-7; 9-5)
POMEROY RATINGS: Iowa – 99, Wisconsin – 5
REALTIMERPI: Iowa – 132, Wisconsin – 16
CBS RPI: Iowa – 136, Wisconsin – 22
MASSEY RANKING: Iowa – 102, Wisconsin – 14
SAGARIN RATINGS: Iowa – 101, Wisconsin – 8
Tip Off: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012; 8:05 PM CST
Iowa City, IA; Carver-Hawkeye Arena 14,500
TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com
Radio: AM 600, 1040, and 800. Sirius: 93 | XM: 190
All-time series is tied at 77-77.
LINE: Iowa is a 5 point underdog at home. Pomeroy predicts a 9 point Iowa loss.
LIVE CHAT: Click HERE for the link.
G – Devyn Marble, 6’6”, 194 lb, SO
G – Matt Gatens, 6’5”, 212 lb, SR
G – Josh Oglesby, 6’5”, 190 lb, FR
F – Aaron White, 6’8”, 225 lb, FR
F – Zach McCabe, 6’7”, 232 lb, SO
G – Ryan Evans, 6’6″, 210 lb, JR
G – Jordan Taylor, 6’1″, 190 lb, SR
G – Josh Gasser, 6’3″, 190 lb, SO
F – Mike Bruesewitz, 6’6″, 222 lb, JR
C – Jared Berggren, 6’10”, 23 lb, JR
Here’s a look at a graphical comparison of the teams from statsheet.com
We know what we are getting here.
Iowa likes to get up and down the court. Wisconsin likes to be slow and direct with the ball.
Iowa struggles on the D end. Wisconsin plays solid D.
Contrasting styles, but it’s always fun to see which team can dictate play.
KEYS TO GAME FOR IOWA:
– Don’t Forget About Jordan Taylor. Ryan Evans has been really good for the Badgers of late. Ben Brust is getting attention from the media because of the recruiting battle. But you can’t forget about Jordan Taylor. He’s had a down season in comparison to some of his previous seasons, but he’s certainly putting up good numbers and is continuing to be a leader on and off the court for the Badgers. It looks like Bryce Cartwright will miss yet another game for the Hawkeyes, he wore down Jordan as the game went on up in Madison. Who will step up against Taylor this time?
– Mix up the D, but Don’t Stick with Too Much Zone. The Badgers went 3-28 from behind the arc last time they faced Iowa. That’s not going to happen again. With that in mind, Iowa is just not quick enough in the zone to get to the outside shooters. I like it when Coach McCaffery comes with a variety of defenses… mixing in M2M, various zones, and some trapping presses. I hope the Hawks can be effective enough in their man to man to stay in it more than the zone.
– Get the Forwards Going. Few people expected to see the sort of performance that Iowa got out of Melsahn in their last game vs. Indiana. He was disruptive on defense, he was snagging rebounds, and he was aggressive on the offensive side of the ball. Aaron White continues his impressive freshman campaign by filling up the stat sheet in a variety of different ways. Both guys were big in the road victory of the Badgers, combining for 32 points and 13 rebounds. The Hawks need that effort from them again.
PREDICTION: Matt Gatens appears to be a man on a mission. He has four regular season games left in his college basketball career, and he is certainly trying to make the best of them. If Matt can continue his hot streak, I really like Iowa to come out on top in this one. Don’t forget, Matt had just 6 points in the Iowa win in Madison. On the flip side, Hawkeye fans have been fooled before by this inconsistent team. This game is yet another toss-up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wisconsin rain threes and win by double-digits, but I also could see a game where Iowa gets their shots and wins. A lot of fluid parts to this Iowa team – if they are in sync, you have to like Iowa’s chances. If not, look out. I’ll drink the Hawkeye punch tonight. FINAL SCORE: Iowa 67, Wisconsin 63