Northwestern vs #10 Wisconsin

Northwestern vs #10 Wisconsin | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on January 19, 2021

Wisconsin is a game back of the Big Ten lead held by Iowa and Michigan, and the No. 10 Badgers will be solid favorites on the NCAAB odds when they host a mediocre Northwestern side on Wednesday.

How to Bet Northwestern at Wisconsin NCAA Basketball Odds & TV InfoLast Meeting

The schools met just once last season and Wisconsin won 63-48 at home. The Wildcats, who shoot 42% from the field on average, started the game 1 for 10 with five turnovers in the first nine minutes. But after trailing by 17 points with 5:48 left, Northwestern cut the Wisconsin lead to 32-28 just before half. The Wildcats’ offensive woes resurfaced after the break as they started 1 for 12 and fell behind 48-33 with 8:51 left. Wisconsin only shot 39 percent from the field itself.

Why Bet on Northwestern? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Wildcats (6-6) lost their fifth in a row Sunday, 96-73 at home to No. 5 Iowa. Northwestern got off to a solid start and led 29-28 with just under eight minutes left in the first half on the strength of four 3s by Boo Buie. Iowa then took control with 13 straight points, six by Jack Nunge. The Hawkeyes led 49-37 at the break and opened the second half with a 13-2 run for a 62-39 advantage.

It was the Wildcats’ sixth straight game against a ranked opponent, a school record. They won the first game of that stretch against Ohio State on Dec. 26 but have dropped the last five, all by double digits. The previous longest streak of ranked opponents was four.

“Regardless of how much this stung, and now being 3-5 in the league, losing the last five games, really in a lot of respects — if any of you guys that follow us closely would have looked at our schedule and those eight games and said we are going to win three of them, you probably would have said we are still in a pretty good spot moving forward regardless of how we got there with three wins and now five losses,” Coach Chris Collins said.

Pete Nance led the Wildcats with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with a career-high five assists and nine rebounds. Nance led all players in the second half with 12 points on an efficient 5-of-7 clip from the field.

Ryan Greer turned in a career-high 10 points as he knocked down a career-best three three-pointers as he did not miss from behind the arc. It marked the first time in Greer’s career he has hit multiple triples in a game, and he is now the seventh different Wildcat to knock down at least three three-pointers in a single game this season. Greer also led all players in the game with six assists, his second-highest output on the year.

Northwestern held Iowa superstar center Luka Garza to 17 points, the second time Northwestern has held him to below 20 points this season, limiting him to his lowest scoring outputs against Big Ten opponents. The last Big Ten school before Northwestern to hold Garza under 20 points was Nebraska last season on January 7, 2020.

Northwestern also finished with six turnovers, their third-lowest output of the year. The Wildcats turned the ball over twice in the second half, the fifth half in which they have turned the ball over two or less times and the third of their last four halves. The Wildcats have now won the turnover battle in four-consecutive games.

Why Bet on Wisconsin? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Badgers (11-3) were 60-54 winners at Rutgers last Friday. Wisconsin held Rutgers scoreless for a span of 5:15 late in the second half (8:36-3:21). The Badgers enjoyed a 12-0 run during that stretch, going from down 44-42 to a 54-44 lead.

Wisconsin shot 35% from the field, and Rutgers shot 37%. The Badgers were 6 of 25 from beyond the arc, and the Scarlet Knights were 2 of 19. Rutgers scored 42 of its 54 points in the paint, while Wisconsin had just 18 points.

UW’s D’Mitrik Trice scored eight points and assisted on another basket in a 12-0 run that gave Wisconsin a 54-44 lead with 4:19 to go. Trice finished with 13 points, including 9 in the final 7:04 of the game. He also added 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Trice has scored in double figures in 6 straight games and is averaging 20.3 ppg over those 6 game. With 2 3-pointers Friday night, Trice now owns 212 career triples, equaling Jason Bohannon for 6th on Wisconsin’s all-time list. Trice now has 1,210 career points, moving into 25th place on Wisconsin’s all-time scoring list.

“It was good for him to step up at the right time, which senior point guards — good one’s tend to do,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said.

UW held Rutgers to just 54 points, the Scarlet Knights’ second-lowest output of the season. RU entered the game averaging 70.9 points. The Badgers matched their season high with 10 steals. UW recorded 9 blocked shots, the team’s most in a Big Ten game since posting 10 blocks against Illinois on Jan. 19, 2018. The Badgers’ 9 blocked are the second-highest mark of the season and most since swatting 10 shots in the season opener against Eastern Illinois.

Wisconsin had just 9 turnovers in the game, including 3 in the second half and zero in the final 8:42 of the game. The Badgers have now had 11 or fewer TOs in 32 consecutive games. The Badgers entered the game second in the NCAA averaging just 8.3 turnovers per game.

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Wisconsin 72, Northwestern 65


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