Wisconsin Faces Big Ten’s Worst Team, Penn State

#20 Wisconsin (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) is looking to extend their 5 game winning streak as they hit the road to face Penn State (10-12, 2-7 Big Ten) at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game tips off at 7:00 PM CT and Big Ten Network has the coverage.

Though they have a bad record, Penn State isn’t a terrible team. They’ve shown they’re somewhat of a threat at home getting wins over Illinois and Purdue. Penn State is the only team in the Big Ten conference below 500. on the year. In a year where the Big Ten is stacked, Penn State finds themselves at the bottom of the conference.

On the other hand, Wisconsin finds themselves 3rd in the conference right behind Ohio State and Michigan State. After their 1-3 start in Big Ten play, the Badgers have won 5 in a row. They come into this game with lots of momentum, after beating #16 Indiana at the Kohl Center last Thursday.

Last year the Badgers and Nittany Lions split the regular season series, both wining the matchups at home. Penn State got the last laugh though, as they knocked off the Badgers 36-33 in the Big Ten Tournament. But the Nittany Lions star point guard Talor Battle graduated last year, and they’ve had a tough time replacing him this season.

A key factor in this game is Wisconsin’s attitude.  With a big home matchup against #3 Ohio State coming up this Saturday, some think the Badgers are overlooking Penn State. If the Badgers do that, they could find themselves down or even losing this game. Bo Ryan has to make sure his team is absolutely 100% focused on the Lions.

The matchup to look out for in this game is PSU junior guard Tim Frazier against Wisconsin’s star point guard Jordan Taylor. Frazier is an offensive threat. He has a knack for getting to the rim and has an arsenal of moves to finish. He’s got a pretty stroke off the dribble, and he’s shooting 40.4% on the year. Frazier is averaging 17.9 points and 6.3 assists a game.

Jordan Taylor is a pretty good defensive player, and he proves it night in and night out. He’s won most of the point guard battles he’s been in this year, including holding UNC star Kendall Marshall to only 4 points. Taylor always comes to play and he won’t let Frazier take over. Taylor is pretty good on the offensive side of things too, averaging 13.9 points and 4.3 assists a game.

If Wisconsin gets off to a hot start, they should have no problem downing Penn State. Although if they let PSU hang around, it could be a close game and the Badgers could find themselves on the losing end. Over the years, Wisconsin teams have had a tendency to lose road game they should have won. Wisconsin has been stellar on the road this year, and I do think the Badgers will extend the win streak to six.

Prediction: Wisconsin 61, Penn State 52.