basketball Edit

Nebraska Basketball Game Day: No. 10 Wisconsin

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHERE

Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-21, 3-16) vs Wisconsin Badger (24-5, 15-4)

Sunday, March 6, 2022 - 1 p.m. CT

Kohl Center

TV: BTN

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Internet: FOX Sports App

Nebraska projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Alonzo Verge Jr.

6-3/164

Sr.

Posted his fourth game with at least 10 assists (11 at Ohio State). His 9 first-half assists were the most ever by a Husker in a conference game.

Trey McGowens

6-4/196

Jr.

Has swiped eight steals over the past four games, boosting his season average to 1.4 spg.

Bryce McGowens

6-7/179

Fr.

Eclipsed 500 points for the season at Ohio State, becoming just the 4th NU freshman or sophomore (Tyronn Lue in 1996-97; Dave Hoppen in 1983-84 and Terran Petteway in 2013-14) to accomplish the feat.

Lat Mayen

6-9/217

Jr.

Averaging 5.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Had 6 points but on just 1-of-4 shooting at Ohio State.

Derrick Walker

6-9/239

Jr.

Played just 13 minutes, but had 4 points and 5 boards at Ohio State. Still shooting 68% from the field on the season.

Wisconsin projected starters
NAME HT/WT YEAR NOTES

Chucky Hepburn

6-2/211

Fr.

Former Bellevue (Neb.) West standout who is in 8.1 points and 2.2 assists per game.

Brad Davison

6-4/200

Sr.

Averaging 14.0 points per game while shooting 35 percent from 3-point range

Johnny Davis

6-5/194

So.

National Player of the Year contender who is averaging 20.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while pacing UW with 2.3 assists per game.

Tyler Wahl

6-9/221

Jr.

Averages 11.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg while pacing Wisconsin with 22 blocked shots.

Steven Crowl

7-0/234

So.

Averaging 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.

3 KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Stay in control

One of the biggest differences between how Nebraska played in its past two victories and what it did most of the season is how well it's stayed in control offensively.

Far too often, the Huskers would panic when the momentum shifted away from them, and they'd start rushing everything they did offensively rather than settle things down with a steadier, more methodical style of play.

In impressive wins at Penn State and Ohio State, NU has averaged 13.0 assists compared to 9.5 turnovers per game. Just as significantly, the Huskers have shot a combined 53.6 percent from the field and 51.2 percent from 3-point range.

Nebraska's ball movement has been exceptional, led by Alonzo Verge Jr., who has played the best basketball of his season over the last few weeks.

Against a Wisconsin team that is as efficient as any team in the country, the Huskers must continue to play within themselves and not let outside factors dictate how they execute.

2. Be disruptive, but careful

One of the things that makes Wisconsin so tough to play is that it rarely ever makes mistakes.

Not only do the Badgers rank among the national leaders in offensive efficiency, but they're also as good as any team in the country at taking care of the basketball.

Led by former Bellevue (Neb.) West standout Chucky Hepburn and fifth-year senior Brad Davison, UW ranks third nationally in offensive turnover percentage (12.8) and fifth in offensive steal percentage (6.8).

One of Nebraska's best strengths defensively is creating turnovers with on-ball pressure. Today, the key will be how NU can disrupt Wisconsin's offense against guards that don't give the ball away.

The Huskers have to be aggressive and throw the Badgers' offense out of rhythm, but they also can't put themselves in compromising positions and leave UW with easy scoring opportunities.

3. Slown down Johnny Davis

According to Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg, there isn't a more improved player in all of college basketball than Wisconsin's Johnny Davis.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore guard's numbers this season certainly back up that claim.

After averaging 7.0 points and 4.1 rebounds off the bench last year as a true freshman, Davis has exploded onto the scene and is now one of the frontrunners for National Player of the Year.

Davis comes into today's game leading the Badgers in scoring (20.3 ppg), rebounding (8.6 RPG), and assists (2.3 apg). He is the one who makes UW's offense go, and he needs to be the focal point of everything Nebraska does defensively at all times.

The Huskers did a solid job on Davis in the first meeting in Lincoln, holding him to a relatively quiet 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. But he still made his mark with nine rebounds and drew a whopping seven fouls.

QUOTABLE

"I can't tell you how much it means to have this guy back on the floor full-time with his timing and conditioning back. He took five shots the other night (at Ohio State). You could argue he was the player of the game for us."
— NU head coach Fred Hoiberg on the impact of Trey McGowens since returning to the lineup after his injury.

PREDICTION

Wisconsin (-14) 81, Nebraska 70

Robin's season record: 21-9

vs. the spread: 15-15