It’s senior day for the Wisconsin basketball team as they take on the fifth-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini. Wisconsin is coming into this game having five days off between games. In their last game, they trounced the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, 68-51.
The Illini, on the other hand, are playing in their fourth game in the last eight days today. On top of that, they will be without their All-American guard, Ayo Dosunmu, who put up a triple-double against the Badgers in their last meeting.
With Dosunmu out, the Badgers will still have to deal with Kofi Cockburn, who dominated the Badgers in the paint in their last outing, scoring 23 points on 10-13 shooting. Stopping Cockburn has to be their top priority.
Luckily, Micah Potter seems to be coming around on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Against Northwestern, he got into a rhythm, scoring 19 points on 7/8 shooting and hitting both of his free throws.
As a team, the Badgers shot 36% from beyond the arc, which is considerably better than they have been shooting. It would be great if they can continue to shoot the ball that well against the Illini.
Going into the game, the Badgers are 5.0-point favorites. The fact that Dosunmu is out and the game is in Madison makes the Badgers the favorites today. ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) still favors Illinois, giving them a 55.5% chance to win today.
The Wisconsin basketball team has a ton to play for today as they are currently the sixth seed for the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. Their three remaining games are all against teams that are currently ahead of them. Illinois is third, Purdue is fifth and Iowa is fourth.
They are also projected as a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and his latest bracketology.
A win today would go a long way for the Badgers. Not only would it improve their resume for the Big Dance, but it would also build on some momentum heading into their next two games. If they can pull off three straight wins, there is a good chance they could receive a double-bye for the Big Ten Tournament. Getting hot at the right time can help teams like Wisconsin go deep into postseason play. That run could start today.