Wisconsin (15-4) @ Illinois (12-5) – February 6
Before this game tips between the Illinois and Wisconsin basketball teams, Illinois faced Iowa and defeated the Hawkeyes at home. Then they will travel to Indiana where I think they can get a win, pushing their record to 12-5 before they face the Badgers.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams this year. They are two very different teams. The Badgers (as usual) like to slow the game down and specialize in defense. The Illini likes to keep the pace high and score a lot of points. They are 22nd in the country in scoring with 82.9 points per game while allowing just 68.9 points per game.
Don’t let their record fool you, this is a very good basketball team. They have wins over Duke in Durham, and one of their losses came at the hands of #2 Baylor in their fourth game of the season.
Inside, the Illini have Kofi Cockburn, who is averaging 17.4 points per game and isn’t even their leading scorer. Cockburn could give the Badgers some fits inside like other bigs have this season.
Outside, they’ll have to deal with Ayo Dosunmu, who is putting up 21.7 points per game. Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice will have their hands fill at Illinois.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Illini get hot and hit a lot of shots at home and send the Badgers back to Madison with a loss. Wisconsin will need to try to control the ball and suffocate Illinois on defense. I think it’s a lot to ask for on the road.
Illinois 77 – Wisconsin 72
Wisconsin (15-5) @ Nebraska (4-11) – February 11
Coming off of a loss, the Wisconsin basketball team will get a good shot to bounce back right away. Although they have to travel, the Badgers will face the last-place team in the Big Ten. Before this game, the Cornhuskers will travel to Iowa, Michigan St., and Minnesota. It is a brutal stretch for the Huskers.
The Badgers struggled early against Nebraska in their first meeting, leading the Huskers by just a point at the half. Then, they turned it on and outscored their opponent 42-29 in the second half.
Now on the road, the Badgers can’t afford to start slow, especially after their loss to Illinois.
If they are at 4-11, that means the Huskers will have lost eight games in a row. They’ve also missed five games to this point because of covid. This has been a disastrous season for the Huskers and I think Wisconsin takes advantage of that in Lincoln.
Nebraska 62 – Wisconsin 75