Now in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, No. 7 Wisconsin basketball will head to an arena that might bring back some bad memories when it takes on Nebraska on Thursday.
Seniors Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig are the only leftovers from a Wisconsin team that was shocked at Pinnacle Bank Arena 77-68 in 2014 by a Terran Petteway-led Huskers team. Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard was also with the Badgers at the time as Bo Ryan’s top assistant. More recently, Nebraska bounced Wisconsin from the Big Ten Tournament 70-58 last year.
Despite that positive history against Wisconsin (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten), Nebraska faces a tall task in taking down the Badgers again. The Huskers (10-13, 4-7) have lost seven of their last eight since a surprising 3-0 start in Big Ten play, though their sole win in that span was against a strong Purdue team.
Wisconsin basketball vs. Nebraska game time, details
Date: Thursday, Feb. 9
Time: 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET
Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Neb.
The line: Wisconsin is an 8.5-point favorite.
What TV channel broadcasts Wisconsin basketball vs. Nebraska?
The game will be carried on the Big Ten Network.
How can I watch Wisconsin basketball vs. Nebraska online?
The Big Ten Network will stream the game on BTN2Go as well as all BTN2Go apps.
How can I listen to Wisconsin basketball vs. Nebraska on the radio?
The Wisconsin call for the game will be on Badger Sports Network. A list of affiliates can be found here and the game can be listened to online here. Live audio from the Husker Sports Network will be streamed here and radio affiliates are listed here.
Who is calling the game for BTN?
Dave Revsine and Stephen Bardo will be behind the microphone.
Wisconsin basketball vs. Nebraska keys to the game
Stoppable force meets movable object
Wisconsin might be on a seven-game win streak but that does not mean all is well in Badgerland. More specifically, Wisconsin has been ice-cold from the 3-point line. In their last three games, the Badgers have shot a combined 14 of 65 from deep. Luckily for the Badgers, they’ll be playing a Nebraska team that is allowing one of the three-worst 3-point rates in the country on defense (41.7 percent, per KenPom).
Happ vs. Huskers
Put simply for Nebraska, Ethan Happ is a threat. He’s probably the threat, given Wisconsin’s shooting struggles. The sophomore is averaging 21.6 points per game in his last five games and is vying with Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan for the title of best player in the Big Ten and best big man in the country. At first glance, the Huskers don’t seem to have a player who can effectively guard him, but, oddly enough, they found a way to shut down Swanigan when they beat Purdue 83-80 on Jan. 29. Nebraska held Swanigan to 4 of 13 from the floor and will likely need to draw up a similar game plan to stop Happ.
Find points somewhere
At its most basic, the Nebraska offense vs. Wisconsin’s defense is a mismatch. The Badgers have allowed the fewest points in the Big Ten with 59.8 per game, nearly five points better than second place (though that is partially a product of the Badgers’ slow pace, which leads to fewer possessions on defense). Meanwhile, Nebraska only outscores lowly Rutgers in the conference with 71 points per game. That’s a space between the two that’s going to require more than one thing to break right if Nebraska wants to pull off the upset.