The 11th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will hit the road Thursday for a Big Ten matchup with the 21st-ranked Wisconsin Badgers. The Hawkeyes and Badgers have not met this season, but will face-off twice in the final five games of the season before conference tournaments begin.
As the season dwindles down, teams are feeling the pressure to earn the highest seed possible. The Big Ten conference is hosting quite the race, with Iowa entering this matchup in 4th place and Wisconsin right behind them in 5th.
The winner of this game takes sole possession of 4th place in the Big Ten standings.
Fixture: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Thursday, February 18th, 2021, 7 PM ET
Venue: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin
College Basketball Bets Today: Iowa Hawkeyes vs Wisconsin Badgers betting odds, lines and over/under
Iowa Hawkeyes scorers have been shining as of late, putting up impressive offensive numbers in their last two games. The Hawkeyes have held strong through mid-season struggles, maintaining a chance at the top spot in the Big Ten.
The Wisconsin Badgers are a legitimate threat to take down the Hawkeyes, presenting an excellent defense with some talented shooters of their own. The Badgers bring an overall record of 15-7 into Thursday's matchup and can shut down this Hawkeyes offense.
The players to watch for the Iowa Hawkeyes will be star center Luka Garza and junior guard Joe Wieskamp. The 6'10" Garza has locked down the paint all season, averaging a team-high 24.5 points and 8.4 rebounds thus far.
Joe Wieskamp has been lights out with his shooting this season, averaging 15.4 points per game on an incredible 49% three point percentage. If the mighty Hawkeyes offense brings their best basketball, they will be a tough force to stop.
The Wisconsin Badgers have prided themselves on their defensive prowess, shutting down high-powered offenses within the Big Ten. Allowing an average of just 63 points in their last three games, the Badgers defenders seem to have put all the pieces together at the right time.
The key player to watch for Wisconsin will be Micah Potter and his matchup with Iowa star Luka Garza. If the 6'10" forward can outperform Garza on both ends of the court, the Badgers will be very competitive in this game.
Iowa Hawkeyes: - 1.5
Wisconsin Badgers: + 1.5
Iowa Hawkeyes: --
Wisconsin Badgers: --
Over: 146 (-110)
Under: 146 (-110)
Iowa vs. Wisconsin Prediction
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a very good team, running their offense with great efficiency. The Wisconsin Badgers have a defense to counter, however, and could present a great matchup in this battle. Offensively, Wisconsin is going to need to minimize the production of Luka Garza. The Hawkeyes are going to score, but the over/under is set rather high. I expect this game to become a defensive battle, but for the Iowa Hawkeyes to do enough on the offensive end to cover 1.5 points.