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Men’s Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ Wisconsin

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A spot in the Sweet Sixteen is on the line in Milwaukee

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round Milwaukee - Iowa St. vs LSU Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Last Time Out

Iowa State took out LSU 59-54 on the back of a big night from Tyrese hunter. The star freshman scored a team high 23 points and added one big clutch three pointer with under a minute to play to help propel Iowa State to the Round of 32. The Cyclones and Tigers had themselves a good ol’ fashioned rock fight for 40 minutes that saw Iowa State lead for most of the game. LSU would make things interesting a few times but the Iowa State defense would hold them at bay and ultimately close out the Tigers. Izaiah Brockington added in 19 points of his own.

About Wisconsin

This will be the ninth matchup of all-time between Iowa State and Wisconsin. The last meeting was a 103-79 Cyclone win in Hilton in 1981. Iowa State holds a 5-3 lead in the all-time series.

The Badgers are 25-7 on the season and finished tied for first with Illinois in the regular season Big Ten standings. Wisconsin would go on to the Big Ten Tournament where they would fall to Michigan State in their first game. Then right after Iowa State’s game on Friday night they were able to hold off Colgate for a 67-60 victory on the way to the Round of 32.

Wisconsin is ranked 50th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 37th adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. Quite the contrast in defensive ratings compared to the last two weeks for Iowa State. Iowa State has played 18 games this season against teams ranked above the 37th defensive rating.

To add to it, Wisconsin does not hurt themselves with turnovers. Something Iowa State really needs to kick start some offensive opportunities. In the same token Iowa State is 4th in the country at turning teams over. Something is going to have to give in Milwaukee.

Opponent Player To Watch

Johnny Davis who just so happens to be the Big Ten player of the year its the engine that makes Wisconsin go. Much like Izaiah Brockington, if Davis is on for Wisconsin they are a tough out. Not only is he a great player but his matchup with Izaiah Brockington is going to be popcorn worthy. While both teams may not be the sexy high flying teams that draw eyeballs this matchup alone could give you a funny feeling way down low.

Pick Three

1- Iowa State forces Wisconsin above their turnover average

2- Iowa State shoots more than 30 threes again

3- Gabe Kalscheuer scores 18 points

What Will Happen

When the bracket came out I was really excited if Iowa State could get by LSU. The Badgers are solid all around but they just aren’t up in your face as the last few teams Iowa State has had to play this season. Iowa State should have their opportunity to move around but the shots will have to fall once again. Izaiah Brockington will be a point of emphasis for the Badger defense and after Friday night one could assume that Wisconsin won give Tyrese Hunter much room to operate. Someone else is going to have to add over 10 points for Iowa State.

I like Iowa State’s chances in this once but the Badgers may have too many horses. Iowa State should get theirs on the defensive end of the floor and make the Badgers uncomfortable but it may not be enough if the shooting doesn’t come with it. I’ll take the Badgers close for now.

Wisconsin - 59

Iowa State - 56