Northwestern (18-6, 7-4) at Wisconsin (21-3, 10-1)
When: Sunday, February 12th 2017
Where: Kohl Center, Madison, WI
Time: 6:30 ET | TV: Big Ten Network
The Wisconsin Badgers look for their 20th straight home victory on Sunday when they host the Northwestern Wildcats in a key Big Ten battle at the Kohl Center. The Badgers have won eight consecutive games, including a 70-69 overtime victory against Nebraska on Thursday, to remain 1.5 games ahead of Purdue at the top of the conference standings, and hopes to avenge a 70-65 defeat to the Wildcats last season. Wisconsin has won its 13 home games this season by average margin of 24 points and are looking to earn their second Big Ten regular-season title in three years. Senior forward Nigel Hayes led the team with 20 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18.4 seconds left in overtime, to lift the Badgers past Nebraska on Thursday. Zak Showalter went 4-of-6 from 3-point territory en route to 15 points while Bronson Koenig added 12 against the Cornhuskers. The Badgers lead the Big Ten in scoring defense (60.2) and have beaten Northwestern nine of the last 11 meetings. Wisconsin travels to Michigan on Thursday.
Northwestern is looking for their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, but suffered a disappointing 68-61 loss to Illinois on Tuesday. The Wildcats have dropped back-to-back games for the first time in over a month, and hope to bounce back by beating a ranked opponent in Big Ten play for the first time since a 65-56 victory over then 16th-ranked Wisconsin on January 29th, 2014. Junior guard Scottie Lindsey, who leads the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game, missed his second straight game due to mono and is out indefinitely. Junior guard Bryant McIntosh scored a game-high 21 points and handed out four assists to move within four of becoming the second player in program history to record 500 assists in his career. McIntosh is averaging 21 points and 5.3 assists over his last three games. Vic Law added 16 points and nine rebounds while Nathan Taphorn finished with five points in 17 minutes after missing the previous game with an ankle injury. Northwestern will get Maryland and lowly Rutgers next week at home.
Wisconsin is on a roll right now playing as good as anyone. Lindsey being out is huge for Northwestern and I think they’ll find it tough to keep up with the Badgers. I think Wisconsin rolls in this one.
Pick: Wisconsin -10.5