The Wisconsin Badgers head to Maryland Saturday
The Wisconsin Badgers will look to earn win No. 7 in a row when they hit the road for an important Big Ten Conference matchup with the Maryland Terrapins.
Wisconsin, at 15-9 overall, has won their last six games in Big Ten play, improving to 7-4 in the conference, a record good enough for sixth place in the conference. More importantly, the Badgers are just two games behind a 2-way tie for fourth in the conference (Purdue and Michigan at 8-4) and just 2.5 games behind a 3-way tie in first place between Maryland, Indiana and Iowa (10-2).
That makes the Badgers matchup with the Terrapins extremely important to the final Big Ten standings and the Badgers tournament resume, especially after the result of Wisconsin’s first meeting against Maryland this season, which saw the Terrapins win on a last second three-pointer from Melo Trimble.
The Badgers will look for a different outcome this time around, but will likely go about it in a similar fashion, turning to team-leader Nigel Hayes, who scored a team-high 17 points in the last meeting. Hayes leads the Badgers with 17.3 points per game and adds 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
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Ethan Happ and Bronson Koenig scored 16 and 13 against Maryland, respectively, the last time out, and each should again play a big factor. Happ will be especially important on the defensive end, as Maryland holds a significant height advantage.
The Badgers got a nice game out of Zak Showalter against Maryland last time out – nine points, a pair of rebounds and steals – and will need similar output again. Vitto Brown is coming off a career-best game against Nebraska, and will also be an important piece of the defensive plan.
In Maryland’s 63-60 victory over Wisconsin last time out, Trimble led all scorers with 21 points, followed by 14 points from Robert Carter, 11 from Diamond Stone, and 9 from Damonte Dodd. Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman also average double-digit scoring, as Maryland’s offense is incredibly balanced among the five players.
The Badgers have a tough win ahead of them, but know a victory against Maryland would go a long way toward the Badgers season-ending goals.
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Here’s what you need to know about today’s game:
Location: College Park, MD
Arena: XFINITY Center
Time: 5:30 p.m. CT
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Live Stats: UWBadgers.com
Odds: MD -9, O/U 131
Stay tuned to Badger of Honor for more coverage of the Wisconsin basketball team.