Husker men head to Wisconsin for battle with Badgers

From: Nebraska Athletics

The Nebraska men’s basketball team hits the road to begin a two-game road trip on Tuesday evening, as the Huskers travel to Madison, Wis., for a matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers.

Tipoff at the Kohl Center is slated for shortly after 8 p.m. and the matchup will be carried nationally on BTN with Dave Revsine and Robbie Hummel on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.

Nebraska (7-11, 2-5 Big Ten) looks to snap a three-game losing streak after an 82-74 loss to Indiana on Saturday night. The Hoosiers used a 16-2 spurt to open the second half to build a 19-point cushion. Nebraska battled back and got to within six points and had a couple of opportunities to make it a one-possession game, but could not complete the rally. Indiana hit 51 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers, after entering the game shooting 25 percent from 3-point range in Big Ten play.

For Nebraska, sophomore Cam Mack led NU with 20 points and nine assists to pace four Huskers in double figures. It was Mack’s second 20-point game of the year and the sixth time he has dished out at least eight assists in a game. Thorir Thorbjarnarson added 13 points and nine boards, while Dachon Burke Jr. (12) and Haanif Cheatham (10) also finished in double figures. 

On the year, Mack is third in the Big Ten in assists (6.8 apg) as he guides an attack that has six players averaging at least 7.0 points per game. With 123 assists, Mack needs just 13 assists to crack NU’s single-season top-10 list and is one assist away from matching NU’s highest assist total since joining the Big Ten  (Tai Webster, 124, 2016-17). 

Wisconsin (11-7, 4-3) looks to bounce back following a 67-55 loss at No. 15 Michigan State on Friday evening. Nate Ruevers had 19 points and seven rebounds, while Kobe King added 10 points against MSU. Wisconsin shot just 35 percent, while Michigan State shot 47 percent and out-rebounded the Badgers 41-32. Ruevers leads a balanced Wisconsin attack with 14.2 points per game.

WATCH

Up-Tempo Huskers vs. Slow-and-Steady Badgers:

Wisconsin coach Greg Gard on Cam Mack:

Huskers look to heal road woes:

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
Junior guard Thorir Thorbjarnarson is averaging 12.5 points on 55 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game over Nebraska’s last four contests.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
.459- Thorir Thorbjarnarson is third in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage entering Tuesday’s game with Wisconsin. He has 28 3-pointers in 2019-20 after going a combined 6-of-28 behind the 3-point stripe in his first two years.

3.1 – Nebraska enters the week leading the Big Ten in turnover margin at +3.1 per game. NU has committed 12 or fewer turnovers in each of the last 10 contests. NU is third in the Big Ten by committing 11.1 turnovers per game.

3.52 – Cam Mack ranks fourth nationally among all power conference players with a 3.52-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play. As of Jan. 19, only seven power conference players have better than a 3.0-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league contests.

No.

Name

School

Conf Asst-to-TO

1.

Quincy McKnight

Seton Hall

3.76

2.

Jordan Goldwire

Duke

3.67

3.

Tyger Campbell

UCLA

3.60

4.

Cam Mack

Nebraska

3.52

5.

Connor McCaffery

Iowa

3.50

6.

Zavier Simpson

Michigan

3.35

7.

McKinley Wright

Colorado

3.00

4 – Double-figure assist games for Cam Mack, which is the most by a Husker since Brian Carr had five in the 1985-86 season. 

13 – Double figure scoring runs that Nebraska has had in 2019-20 following an 11-0 first-half run against Indiana.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN
Under fifth-year coach Greg Gard, the Badgers are 11-7 overall and 4-3 in Big Ten play and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten entering this week’s action. The Badgers returned three starters from a team that won 23 games and reached the NCAA Tournament in 2019. UW got off to a slow start and was 3-4 following a loss to NC State, but has posted a 7-3 mark in its last 10 games, including road wins at Ohio State and Penn State. The Badgers have three wins over ranked teams on the season and also have a 20-point non-conference win at Tennessee. 

Wisconsin’s stretch is its ability to control the pace, as the Badger are 14th in scoring offense, but are third in scoring defense and lead the conference by committing just 10.6 turnovers per game. UW also leads the Big Ten, hitting 77.2 percent from the line.  The Badgers rely on a nine-player rotation with seven player averaging over 7.0 points per game. Junior Nate Reuvers leads UW in scoring at 14.2 ppg, while Kobe King averaged 10.6 ppg. Ohio State transfer Micah Potter has been a boost, averaging 9.4 ppg and 5.8 rpg in eight games since becoming eligible. UW also has five players who average at least one 3-pointer per game. 

Series History: Tuesday’s matchup is the 31st meeting between the two programs, as Wisconsin has a 16-14 advantage. The series dates back to the 1903-04 season, as Nebraska won the first meeting, 25-22 over the Badgers in Lincoln before Wisconsin took five of the next six meetings from 1907 to 1955.  Nebraska then won eight straight games before the Badgers won the next five meetings, including the first four in Big Ten play, before the Huskers topped the No. 9 Badgers in the final regular-season game in 2013-14. The Badgers won both meetings in 2018-19, including a 66-62 in the Big Ten Tournament quaterfinals. The Huskers are 4-10 against Wisconsin since joining the Big Ten (3-9 in regular season; 1-1 in Big Ten Tournament).

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports