NCAA Basketball Game Preview: Iowa at Wisconsin

Jan 6, 2022

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Game: Iowa Hawkeyes @ Wisconsin Badgers  

Time: 9:00 p.m. ET 

Odds: Hawkeyes +2, Badgers -2 

Total: 147 

After losing Luke Garza and Joe Weiskamp, it was a huge surprise when the Iowa Hawkeyes started the 2021-22 men’s college basketball season 11-3. Iowa just wasn’t supposed to be that good, but they got their first Big Ten win of the season on Monday night. The Hawkeyes beat Maryland 80-75 behind a huge night from Keegan Murray, who probably needs to be in the national player of the year discussion. Tonight, the Hawkeyes head to 23rd-ranked Wisconsin for their first real test of the season. 

Iowa has won its last four games in a row but wins over Utah State, Southeastern Louisiana, and Western Illinois are not what anyone would call marquee wins. The win over Maryland isn’t all that impressive either given the Terps are now 8-5, which is one of the poorer records among Big Ten teams right now. 

The Hawkeyes will get a chance to prove themselves tonight. Murray might be the best player you’ve never heard of. The 6-8 sophomore averages 24.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He had 35 points and eight boards in the win over Maryland on Monday. The Hawkeyes play at a quick pace and it shows. They average 87.4 points per game which ranks third in the nation.  

Iowa’s defense is another story. In the win over the Terrapins on Monday, all five Maryland starters scored in double figures. Iowa allows 70.5 points per game to its opponents and that could be a problem against a very disciplined and well-coached Wisconsin team. 

The Badgers have won their last three straight and their last win on Monday night was a big one. Wisconsin upset No. 3 Purdue 74-69 on the Boilermakers home floor. Johnny Davis scored 37 points and had 14 rebounds for Wisconsin. Davis is a 6-5 sophomore guard who averages 22.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Like Murray, Davis will garner some attention for the national player of the year award.  

The Badgers are 11-2 overall and have won nine of their last ten games. That includes a win over Houston, which was ranked No. 12 in the country at the time. The Badgers’ only loss in their last ten games was at Ohio State on Dec. 11. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 21 at the time. 

Iowa is 7-3 ATS in its last ten games. The Hawkeyes have actually won the last four games in the series with Wisconsin. They won at Wisconsin 77-62 last year as a 1.5-point underdog. They also won at home and again in the Big Ten tournament last year. 

Wisconsin is also 7-3 ATS in its last ten games. Both teams have been trending Over. The total has gone Over in 12 of Iowa’s last 16 games and five of Wisconsin’s last seven. In the series though, the total has gone Under in five of the last six games played between the two teams.