Wisconsin Basketball: Just Beat Marquette

MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 10: Haanif Cheatham
MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 10: Haanif Cheatham /

It’s Beat Marquette week and that’s all Badger basketball fans are asking for at this point in the season. This could be the first year in 19 season where the Badgers aren’t in the NCAA Tournament so all we’re asking is to beat our in-state rivals.

The Wisconsin Badgers are looking to beat Marquette this weekend after what has been a whirlwind start to the season. The Badgers fell victim to four ranked opponents and that quickly gave their record a hit.

Falling to Ohio State by 25 at home killed everything for the time being.

Wisconsin knew they needed to win at Penn State in-order to keep any hopes of playing in the postseason alive. They did just that by edging out a one-point victory which seemed to do wonders for optimism.

Wisconsin Badgers Basketball
Wisconsin Badgers Basketball /

Wisconsin Badgers Basketball

Even though Brad Davison didn’t record a point, Khalil Iverson had himself a game. I liked what I saw throughout the entire game as I had just eluded to it a few days before on how the junior swing-man needed to get going.

Nate Reuvers went off for a double-digit point total for the second consecutive game. He has really come on nicely ever since the rest of the front-court decided to implode.

Then came the Temple game. That was supposed to be another good win out in Pennsylvania.

The Badgers had a three-point lead as late as 2:34 left in the game. An Iverson turnover and a couple missed shots including one’s by Ethan Happ and Kobe King eventually gave Temple the lead for good.

Wisconsin went from looking like Wisconsin again to having to go back to the drawing board.

The Badgers current resume now looks like this:

Good Wins:

Penn State

Good Losses:

Xavier, Baylor, UCLA, Virginia

Teams we will have to convince people are good:

Ohio State, Temple

Marquette can fall into the category of a good win. I really feel like as the season plays out, the Golden Eagles can sustain bubble status. They made the Tournament last year and they have the scorers to do it this year.

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That’s why the Badgers need to beat Marquette. First and foremost it will boost their resume. They haven’t had any dumb losses and VCU and LSU aren’t cupcake wins.

Second of all, the Badgers need to beat Marquette because no matter what else happens this season, it’ll be nice to say they defeated their instate rivals. If they don’t make the Tournament, the Badgers have bragging rights.

Then if the Golden Eagles make it and the Badgers don’t, at least Bucky can say they won. And finally If Wisconsin makes it and Marquette doesn’t, well that’s the best case scenario.

It will be nice for Wisconsin to beat Marquette just because the Badgers need this victory.If every player can perform the way they do when they have their best night, this team can be dangerous.

We already know that Davison and Happ are capable of big things. Iverson showed his potential against the Nittany Lions. D’Mitrik Trice has to have confidence in his dribble drive which will better him from long distance.

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Reuvers is capable of double-digits. King has reached that feat a few times thisseason too. Ford can knock down the three-pointer and Brevin Pritzil can shoot, but has been in a major slump lately.

Davison will draw Marquette’s best in Markus Howard who is averaging 22.4 points per game. Andrew Rowsey comes off the bench so he might be met by Trice. For the meantime though Trice would take Sacar Anim who only averages 6.6 points per game.

Ethan Happ should be okay with their starting big man. Matt Heldt goes 6’10, but only averages 3.1 points per game and less than two boards. Iverson will have a nice match up against a non-scoring threat in Greg Elliott. Finally, Aleem Ford will draw Sam Hauser who’s only the third Golden Eagle in double-digits.

Next: Wisconsin Basketball: Another Late Game Collapse

Haanif Cheatham was supposed to do great things this season for Marquette, but he surprisingly left the program last week.

According to this blue print on paper or screen, Wisconsin should be able to beat Marquette. They have the pieces, they just don’t all decide to fit at the same time. Let’s see a total team effort, get back on track and beat Marquette for a momentum starter.