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|Ohio State Buckeyes||TBA||TBA|
These two teams have already faced each other this season. Ohio State bested Wisconsin in that game 73-55. Wisconsin is now looking for revenge and on a five-game winning streak.
These two teams have different strengths and weaknesses. The Buckeyes shoot the ball really well, hitting almost half of their shots, but struggle on defense. The Badgers do not shoot as well as the Buckeyes but have a stronger defense.
Ohio State and Wisconsin have the same conference record, but Wisconsin has faced tougher opponents over the course of the season. Therefore, I am picking Wisconsin to squeak out this win at home.
Wisconsin beats Ohio State 68-65.
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|Chris Holtmann||Head Coach||Greg Gard|
|10-3 (4-1, 4th in Big Ten)||Standing||13-2 (4-1, 3rd in Big Ten)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|E.J. Liddell (20.1)||PPG||Johnny Davis (22.3)|
|E.J. Liddell (7.2)||RPG||Johnny Davis (7.4)|
|Jamari Wheeler (4.4)||APG||Johnny Davis (2.6)|
|Jamari Wheeler (1.7)||SPG||Johnny Davis (1.4)|
|E.J. Liddell (3.1)||BPG||Tyler Wahl (1.2)|
|Zed Key (.619)||FG%||Tyler Wahl (.496)|
|Cedric Russell (.455)||3P%||Lorne Bowman II (.500)|
The Buckeyes are a very efficient shooting team, so they have to depend on their shooting to win. They hit 48.7% of their field-goal attempts and 39.2% of their three-point attempts. While Ohio State’s offense is very strong, their defense is very suspect. That leads me to Ohio State’s keys for the game. Ohio State needs to protect the rim and make the extra pass.
The Buckeyes have a bigger team and a more significant presence at the rim than the Badgers. Ohio State averages 5.2 blocks per game compared to Wisconsin’s 3.7. It is critical that that Buckeyes continue to protect the rim and block every shot they can. They are playing against a Wisconsin team that does not shoot well from behind the arc and often attacks the rim. If OSU successfully defends near the basket, they will limit Wisconsin’s scoring.
Ohio State is a pretty good passing team. They average 15.3 assists per game. However, they will need to step up their passing against Wisconsin’s strong defense. That means making the extra pass and finding the open man. If they make the extra pass, they will have better shots and score more points.
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The Wisconsin Badgers are a little better than the Buckeyes. While they have similar records (and the same conference record), Wisconsin has faced more challenging opponents. With that being said, they do not shoot very well from behind the three-point line, and they do not pass the ball enough. They need to shoot well from behind the three-point line against this bigger Ohio State team and step up their passing.
Wisconsin has a few players that shot well from behind the arc. Those players are reserve guard Lorne Bowman II, starting guards Johnny Davis and Brad Davison, and forward Steven Crowl. Lorne Bowman II is the best shooter of these four, but they can all shoot well. These four players need to be confident and take open threes when they get them.
Wisconsin is not a great passing team. They only average 10.7 assists per game, and their leading passer, Johnny Davis, only averages 2.6 assists per game. They need to step up their passing against this Ohio State team. If they play team basketball and pass the ball more, they should score five or ten additional points this game.
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Forward E.J. Liddell has been a star this season. He averages 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game. Liddell does a little of everything, which makes him so dangerous. He is a leader and a significant part of their success so far.
Not only is Liddell dominant on both sides of the floor, but he is a great shooter. He hits 50.9% of his field-goal attempts and 37.3% of his three-point attempts.
Liddell needs to play his game tomorrow. The 6’7” junior is doing everything right and must continue to do so. Wisconsin must figure out how to slow him down if they want to emerge victorious.
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I cannot say anything bad about Johnny Davis. There is a reason he is in the running for the John Wooden Award. The 6’5” sophomore guard scores at will, grabs rebounds, and swipes the ball away from the opposing offensive player.
Davis averaged only seven points per game last season. However, something significant must have changed in the offseason because he is fifth in the nation in scoring with his 22.3 points per game this season. He has become a tough player to guard and is the key to the Badger’s success this season.
The Ohio State defense must stop Davis, or they will be in for a long night.
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|No. 16 Ohio State vs No. 13 Wisconsin Information|
|What||No. 16 Ohio State vs No. 13 Wisconsin|
|Where||Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin|
|When||Wednesday, January 13, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN2|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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