Good Sunday morning folks! Only one more week until the Super Bowl. Grab a cup (or two) of hot Joey and read about your Wisconsin Badgers’ sports teams!
Lady Badgers on the East Coast
The Wisconsin women start the sports day off with a 1 p.m. (CST) tipoff against Rutgers University. The Lady Badgers bring an overall mark of 7-16 and 2-9 in the conference. The Lady Scarlet Knights aren’t much better, sporting a 9-14 record, and 3-8 in the Big Ten. This is the first meeting of the two teams this season.
Wisconsin has hit a bit of a rough patch in their schedule, losing two straight and four out of their last five contests. However, Rutgers is in an equally tough stretch, only winning one of their last five games.
If the Lady Badgers want to win this contest, they must find a way to shut down Rutger’s potential Freshman of the Year candidate, forward Kaylene Smikle. The 6′ freshman out of Westtown, PA has been very impressive in her debut campaign, averaging 17.5 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game and almost 2 steals a game. Effective from both the interior (37.5%) and long-range (36.3%), she is the only Rutgers player averaging double-digit scoring.
While she may be the offensive focal point, the Lady Scarlet Knights run a rotation of eight girls, with the average minutes ranging from 34.1 to 18.3 minutes per game. This is the kind of depth that gives our Lady Badgers fits, as our main starting 5 average over 24 minutes.
Wisconsin Badgers look for revenge
The men’s team takes to the court at 5:30 p.m. (CST), looking for revenge against the Northwestern Wildcats. These two teams met 13 days ago in Evanston and Northwestern was victorious 66-63. Tonight’s affair will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Northwestern comes into this matchup having been soundly defeated in its previous two games, most recently against Michigan, 68-51. Wisconsin halted a three-game skid by eeking out a 65-60 win on the road at Ohio State.
Northwestern is led by the senior backcourt duo of Chase Audige and Boo Buie. These two players were the only Wildcats to score double-digits previously, Chase scoring 16 and Boo going for 20. They combined to take 30 of the 51 shots (58.8%).
In addition to the scoring, Buie did a little bit of everything in the last meeting, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. Audige had a little foul trouble, playing with four personal fouls for most of the second half. It is imperative that Wisconsin finds a way to slow these two down.
The oddsmakers have installed Wisconsin as a 3-point favorite. In the last game between these two teams, Max Klesmit didn’t play because of the injury he had suffered in the Penn State game. Jordan Davis started, played 38 minutes, and led the Badgers in scoring.
Wisconsin is a different team with Klesmit on the floor. His style of gritty tenacity brings moxie to the Badgers and makes them considerably tougher.
Because of this, I’m inclined to take Wisconsin and lay the three points. The total is currently 124.5 and I am leaning towards the under, as the Badgers have had trouble scoring lately but I don’t anticipate the Wildcats lighting it up either. Wisconsin wins 62-56