TV Schedule: Thursday, Feb. 4, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Kohl Center
Typically, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers are, at the very least, competing for a Big Ten title. Heck, just last year, the Badgers made a run to the national championship game. This year has been rather different for both squads, though.
Ohio State is 14-9 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin is 13-9 and 5-4 in conference play. What does this mean? Well, it simply means both teams could miss out on the NCAA tournament … if you can believe that.
That said, the Badgers have been red-hot lately. They have won their last four games in a row, and two of those victories came against the Michigan State Spartans and Indiana Hoosiers, which is exactly how you get off of the bubble and into the Big Dance.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes lost their last game, but hopefully that win against the Kentucky Wildcats from earlier in the year is still impressing the tournament committee.
Stats, stats and more stats: Wisconsin is averaging 69.2 points per game and giving up 64.8 PPG in the process. Its leading scorer is Nigel Hayes, who is putting up 17 points per contest. The Buckeyes are averaging 70.7 PPG and allowing 65.8. Leading the scoring charge for this squad is Marc Loving (13.3 PPG).
Given the fact that Wisconsin seems to have finally found itself (fingers crossed) and it will be playing at home, going against the Badgers might not be the most brilliant move of all time. At the same time, this is college basketball we are talking about. Translation: Rankings and records tend to mean nothing in this sport — because top-ranked teams have been falling all season long.
PREDICTION: Buckeyes 58, Badgers 64