Iowa (14-8) at Wisconsin (15-7)
Date: February 6, 2013
Time: 8:00 p.m. CT
Location: Kohl Center, Madison
Line: Wisconsin -9
Iowa's run out of chances. After close losses to Purdue, Ohio State, and Minnesota in the last two weeks, the Hawkeyes' time is almost up. There remains a game against Indiana in Bloomington in March, but tonight's game at Wisconsin is the last best chance at a big road win in the Big Ten. Without that kind of win, a trip to the NCAA Tournament may be beyond this team's grasp.
Since the Hawkeyes defeated Wisconsin at Carver Hawkeye last month, neither team has played particularly well. The Badgers are 2-2 since that loss, with a home defeat at the hands of Michigan State and road loss at Ohio State threaded between wins against Minnesota and Illinois. The Badgers remain a team that protects the ball -- they are the top team nationally in turnover percentage -- but doesn't shoot particularly well, either from the field or at the line. Defensively, Wisconsin stops teams from generating offense through the pass, ranking #1 nationally in assists allowed per made field goal. Berggren, Brust, and Evans remain Wisconsin's top scorers.
Iowa defeated Wisconsin by reversing Wisconsin's turnover tendencies: The Hawkeyes forced 12 Wisconsin turnovers (while giving up just six), though the Badgers were able to hold Iowa to just six assists on the game. Iowa needs one or the other to hang with the Badgers. They will also need to control the boards as they did in Iowa City; Wisconsin's shooting is spotty, but second chance opportunities will even that out quickly. It's always a tall order at the Kohl Center, but if Iowa can stay close, they are due to close one of these games out and have Wisconsin's number as of late.
Go Hawks. Beat Bo.