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The Opening Tip: Rival Wisconsin Visits Carver-Hawkeye Arena

January 26, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa completes a three-game home stand Monday night with a matchup against rival Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It’s the only regular-season matchup scheduled for the teams.

The Badgers swept two meetings a season ago, 65-45, in Madison. They’ve captured eight of the last 10 games in this series.

Here’s a closer look at Monday’s contest in The Opening Tip:

TIME, TV: 7:30 p.m. CT on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call.

RECORDS, RANKINGS: Iowa comes in at 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin stands at 12-8, 5-4. The Hawkeyes are 19th in the AP and the Coaches Polls. The Badgers are unranked.

THE COMPUTERS: Iowa checks in at No. 21 in NET, 15 in Sagarin and 14 in Ken Pom through Saturday’s action. Wisconsin comes in at 20, 37 and 34.

POINT SPREAD: The Hawkeyes are a 5.5-point favorite and the total sits at 135.

HISTORY LESSON: Monday will be the 167th meeting between Iowa and Wisconsin. The Badgers own a narrow 85-81 advantage in the all-time series. The Badgers won both contests over the Hawkeyes last season: 72-66 in Iowa City and 65-45 in Madison.

Ten of the last 15 meetings, dating back to 2011, have been decided by seven points or less.

Iowa holds a 51-30 advantage in games played in Iowa City, with the Badgers winning four of the last five.

NEXT: Iowa plays at Maryland Thursday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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SCOUTING THE BADGERS: Wisconsin fits in well along the Big Ten landscape this season. Like many others in the conference, it’s a tough outfit to figure out.

The Badgers have impressed with road victories at Penn State and Ohio State in a year when winning away from home in this league is rare. They also dropped a home game against Illinois and were destroyed, 70-51, at Purdue on Friday night. The Boilermakers had fallen against the Illini earlier in the week in West Lafayette.

Wisconsin looks a lot different than the previous four seasons, when most of its offense ran through Ethan Happ. While more balanced, the Badgers sometimes struggle with finding a go-to guy in key moments.

Junior big man Nate Reuvers (6-11, 235) leads in scoring (13.8 PPG) and ranks second in rebounding (5.2 RPG). He likely will be tasked with attempting to slow down dominant Iowa big man Luka Garza.

Sophomore guard Kobe King (10.0 PPG) is the only other Badger averaging double figures in points. Former Ohio State big man Micah Potter chips in with 9.5 points and leads the squad with 5.4 boards an outing.

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D’Mitrik Trice, a junior point guard, paces Wisconsin with 3.4 assists, adds 9.1 points and ranks second on the team with 31 three-pointers made. Brevin Pritzl’s 33 treys are the 11th most made in the Big Ten this season.

The Badgers’ 66.5 points per game place them last in the league, significantly behind No. 1 Iowa (80.2). However, the 61.1 they allow are the fourth fewest in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin tops the conference with a 76.4 free throw percentage, but uncharacteristically ranks last in assists per game (12.0). It checks in 11th with +0.3 rebounding margin and the 34.2 percent shooting it allows on three-point attempts is last.

KEYS FOR HAWKEYES: Iowa pretty much needs to continue what it’s been doing. A letdown seems unlikely against a rival that’s had its number.

The Hawkeyes dictated pace last week against Rutgers, which is better defensively than Wisconsin, and will want to do the same here. Reuvers and Potter are a formidable inside duo to match up against Garza and Ryan Kriener, but Iowa’s tandem has outperformed most challengers this season.

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The Badgers’ leaky three-point defense should open up opportunities for Joe Wieskamp and C.J. Fredrick. If Iowa continues its recent success from the outside, it will be a long night for the visitors.

TIP-INS

-The Hawkeyes have posted five Quad 1 wins (Maryland, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Syracuse, Rutgers) and three Quad 2 victories (Minnesota, Cincinnati, Michigan).

-Iowa has won four straight games, the second longest active streak in the Big Ten (Illinois, 6).

-Iowa is 9-1 at home, winning eight straight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since its only setback to DePaul on Nov. 11. The Hawkeyes won their last three home games over ranked opponents (No. 12 Maryland; No. 19 Michigan; No. 24 Rutgers).

-Wisconsin assistant coach Dean Oliver was a three-time third-team All-Big Ten performer
(1999-01) as a Hawkeye. Oliver’s 561 assists are third most in Iowa program history.

-Iowa’s Luka Garza (23.2) and Joe Wieskamp (15.0) combine to average 38.2 points per game, which is sixth best Division I scoring duo in the country.

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