The Wisconsin basketball team has scheduled a non-conference game against Northern Iowa.
We are getting closer and closer to some Wisconsin basketball. The NCAA basketball season officially starts November 25th, but the Badgers still don’t have an official schedule out yet. We know that they will play Marquette on December 4th and will host Louisville on December 9th as a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Now, we know a third non-conference opponent, a mid-major team. CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein tweeted that the Northern Iowa Panthers will come to the Kohl Center on Wednesday, December 16th.
Last year, Northern Iowa had a very successful 2019-2020 season. They finished with a 25-6 record and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. They lost in the quarterfinal of their conference tournament to Drake.
The Panthers are returning their top three scorers, including junior guard A.J. Green, who some Wisconsin basketball fans may remember if you follow Wisconsin recruiting. Green had offers from some bigger schools like Minnesota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Iowa State, but chose to stay close to home and go to Northern Iowa. Wisconsin never ended up offering him a scholarship, but he was definitely on their radar.
As a sophomore, Green averaged 19.7 points per game, leading the team. Trae Berhow and Austin Phyfe were two and three in scoring on the team last season and they are also returning.
As a team, the Northern Iowa Panthers will likely make their way to the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season. They have a talented team that should win their conference. They aren’t currently in the AP’s Preseason Top-25, but they did receive a vote to be in it, meaning they are getting some recognition as a talented team.
The NCAA will only allow teams to play in 27 regular season games this year, down four games from the usual 31. Since there are fewer games to play, it will be important for the Badgers to play high-quality opponents to boost their post-season resume. Although Northern Iowa is a mid-major team, this will be a quality opponent for this Wisconsin basketball team.