Rivals Iowa and Wisconsin meet Thursday night at Kohl Center for their only regular-season meeting this year.
The Hawkeyes (16-13, 8-8 Big Ten) have won two straight, while the Badgers (22-7, 11-5) have dropped consecutive games and four of their last five. The late-season slide cost Wisconsin a chance to win the Big Ten championship outright, and the Badgers need to win twice, coupled with a Purdue loss to Northwestern, to earn a share of the title.
Wisconsin has won six straight in the border series and holds an 83-79 lead all-time.
It’s also a game filled with personal meaning for Iowa freshman point guard Jordan Bohannon. His oldest brother, Jason, scored 1,170 points for the Badgers from 2006 through 2010. Another older brother, Zach, also played for Wisconsin in 2013 and 2014.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery spoke on how the Badgers will attack Bohannon during the game.
“This is not the first tough road game that we’ve had,” McCaffery said. “This is not the first time teams are going to come after him. It’s happened to him multiple times this year. I don’t know that it’s going to be any different from him than it was on Saturday (at Maryland), that it was at Purdue, at Northwestern. You just keep going.
“I think we’re all respectful of Wisconsin. They only have one loss at home. They’re one of the best teams in our league. Preseason pick to win the league. There’s always a full house. They’re going to come after him, but he’s seen that before. ”
Bohannon set an Iowa freshman record with eight 3-pointers (in 10 attempts) against Maryland Saturday. He finished with 24 points. Fellow freshman Tyler Cook added 21 points against the Terrapins.
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) February 26, 2017
Iowa basketball vs. Wisconsin game time, details
Time: 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
Date: Thursday, March 2
Location: Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.
Which TV channel broadcasts Iowa basketball vs. Wisconsin?
ESPN will air the game.
How can I watch Iowa basketball vs. Wisconsin online?
ESPN streams the game from its WatchESPN app and ESPN3.
How can I listen to Iowa basketball vs. Wisconsin on the radio?
You can listen nationally on Sirius/XM channel 84. For Iowa basketball, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the flagship radio stations. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates. For Wisconsin basketball, 1310 AM and 101.5 FM (WIBA-Madison) are the flagship stations. Click here for other Wisconsin affiliates.
Who is calling the Iowa basketball vs. Wisconsin game?
Rece Davis will handle play-by-play for ESPN with Jim Calhoun providing analysis. Gary Dolphin handles play-by-play with analyst Bobby Hansen on the Hawkeye Sports Network. Matt LePay calls the action with Mike Lucas providing analysis for the Wisconsin Sports Radio Network.
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) February 22, 2017
Iowa basketball vs. Wisconsin: 2 keys
Contain Ethan Happ
Wisconsin forward Ethan Happ will test Iowa’s defenders in ways they haven’t experienced this season. Happ, a 6-foot-10 redshirt sophomore, leads the Badgers in scoring (14.1 points per game), rebounding (9.0), steals (61) and blocked shots (35). He’s only one assist (83) from the team high in that category, too.
“He’s got a really good feel for where he is, where he has to get, (recognizing if) a double-team coming, is it not coming, where are (his) teammates?” McCaffery said. “Here’s a guy who’s scoring the ball at a high clip, but look at his assist numbers. They’re phenomenal. So that’s a guy that’s hard to defend when you’re that good in the low post, because he’s got a bevy and he can finish with either hand. But he’s also a really good defender.”
Watch for Bronson Koenig late
Wisconsin shooting guard Bronson Koenig (13.9 points per game) is one of the best clutch shooters in college basketball. His 3-pointer at the buzzer against Xavier sent the Badgers to the 2016 Sweet Sixteen. Throughout his career, Koenig has drilled shots without regard to range or the defense.
“A lot of the shots he’s getting are off post-feed kick-outs, double-teams,” McCaffery said. “He can get his own shot. He’s got a handle that he can create the separation that he needs. He’s got an uncanny knack to make those shots late, either late in the clock or late in the game. He just plays with a very high confidence level.”
Wisconsin basketball vs. Iowa: 2 keys
Happ’s Big Ten Player of the Year candidacy has taken a nose dive in recent weeks; he’s broken double digits in points just twice in his last six games. Opponents have guarded him differently during those games, with more commitment to double-teaming Happ and forcing him to pass out to the perimeter. Wisconsin’s offense relied on Happ playing hero ball for much of its eight-game win streak during conference play; it must now learn how to create opportunities rather than just hand him the ball and have him out-muscle or out-footwork defenders.
Enforce in the paint
The Badgers got wrecked on the boards in their two most recent losses, to Ohio State and Michigan State, losing the rebounding battle by a combined margin of 80-63. Even when it was winning, this Wisconsin team was never the most efficient on offense (its true shooting percentage ranks 175th in the country). But it made up for that by often having several more scoring opportunities than its opponent through superior rebounding. Re-establishing that advantage could be the key to winning consistently again.
Who else? Watch ⬇️ https://t.co/Fm4ZOJi25b
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 27, 2017