Raise your hand if you saw this coming back in January when the Wisconsin Badgers were in the midst of losing five-of-six games. Chances are nobody did.
But the Badgers have a chance to move into a second place tie in the Big Ten if they are able to win on the road against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Big thanks to the Illinois Fighting Illini as they took down the Michigan State Spartans Saturday 53-46 in East Lansing.
Now is the time for the Badgers to redeem themselves and show the country they are much-improved from earlier in 2014 when this season seemed like it was about to spiral out of control.
And it also provides a chance for the Badgers to improve on their seeding in the Big Ten tournament. As it sits right now, if Wisconsin were to receive a two seed in the B1G tournament, they would face the winner of the 7-10 matchup which right now would be Minnesota against Purdue.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the matter at hand is taking care of business against the Nittany Lions on the road. Yes Penn State is at the bottom of the conference once again, but don’t let that fool you. They have knocked off the Ohio State Buckeyes twice this season, the latest victory coming in their last game on Thursday when Penn State won 65-63.
The Nittany Lions have two good scorers, D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier, who average 17.9 and 16 points per game respectively. Newbill is third in conference in scoring per game and Frazier is eighth, compared to Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker who ranks 13th in that category. Other than those two players however, Penn State really doesn’t have much in the way of scoring.
Wisconsin on the otherhand has four players who are averaging double digits in points per game, led by Dekker and Frank Kaminsky’s 13.2. And don’t underestimate Josh Gasser. He’s averaging 9.1 points per game, but is playing exceptional defense that you know makes Bo Ryan proud. Gasser is really starting to hit his stride once again after missing all of last season to repair a torn ACL.
The world is starting to restore back to order and it seems as if things are starting to fall back into place for Bucky. Like I’ve said all along since the start of this current winning streak, win and take care of business. That’s what the Badgers have been and will need to continue to keep doing. Just now the stakes are starting to get a little bit higher.