Badgers Host Rematch with Penn State

The #15 Badgers (19-7, 8-5 Big Ten) are looking for their 20th win of the season when they welcome Tim Frazier and Penn State (12-15, 4-10 Big Ten) to the Kohl Center Sunday. The game tips at 3:00 PM CT and you can find it on BTN.

The last time these two teams tangled was January 31st at State College. The Badgers pulled out aWisconsin_Basketball very ugly win, and beat Penn State 52-46. It was another bad shooting night for Wisconsin, going 17-48 (35.4%) from the field and 5-19 (26.3%) from beyond the arc. Bucky was trailing most of the game, and it seemed like they had a tough time stopping Penn State. However, the Badgers recieved a late push from Senior Jordan Taylor, who scored 13 of Wisconsin’s last 17 points.

Wisconsin has beat Penn State 15 straight times at home, a streak that has lasted 17 years. That’s right, Penn State has never won a game at the Kohl Center. Last year the Badgers were 1-2 against Penn State, losing games at State College and in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. In the last 4 years, the Badgers have a 8-2 record against the Nittany Lions.

Most people (including myslef) would think that the Badgers should have no problem winning this game. We beat them on the road, we can beat them at home, right? I wouldn’t be so sure. I’ll give you two reasons why Wisconsin could find themselves in trouble.

First, shooting. This year the Badgers are shooting just 42.3%, which ranks 228th in the nation. Previously, we’ve seen that Wisconsin offenses are usually slow and boring, but create high quality shots and layups. It seems that this year the Badgers have turned to three pointers as a solution, which is not working. As a result, Badger fans have found out that if Wisconsin isn’t hitting their threes, they don’t win. Bucky has taken on the saying “to live and die by the three”, and we’ve seen them “die” quite a few times because of it.

Second, Penn State has a player named Tim Frazier. The last time these two teams met, Frazier went for 21 points and seven assists. This kid is putting up some ridiculous numbers this year, leading Penn State in all three major stat categories. He is averaging 18.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 6.3 apg. Frazier has many peoples vote for B1G Player of the Year, despite Penn State being last in the conference with a 4-10 record. Frazier is explosive and has the ability to get to the lane. He has great touch at the rim and can also step back and hit jumpers. He is certaintly one of the most talented players in the Big Ten and will be someone to look out for next year.  He’s also got 4 double doubles on the year.

I do think the Badgers will win this game. However, if the Badgers are having trouble making shots, it could be a very close game. If Iowa could come in to Wisconsin and get a win, Penn State surely can. Especially with a player like Tim Frazier. I’ll say the Badgers have a decent day shooting and pull out a victory.

Prediction: Wisconsin 65, Penn State 57.