The No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers are on the road Friday to take on the struggling Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a Big Ten battle. The Badgers were shocked by the Michigan Wolverines in their last game in a brutal 23-point loss. The Scarlet Knights have lost their last three conference games and are fighting to stay relevant in the Big Ten.
Fixture: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Friday, January 15th, 2021, 7 PM ET
Venue: Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, New Jersey
Wisconsin Badgers Preview
The Wisconsin Badgers came out with a low-energy feel to their offense on Tuesday against the Michigan Wolverines and paid the price. The Wolverines got an early lead and kept their foot on the pedal all game. The 23-point loss was the Badgers' third loss of the season and by far their largest margin of defeat. The Badgers will need to bounce back quickly and return to their winning ways if they want to catch Michigan in the Big Ten standings. The Wisconsin Badgers will turn to their stars Micah Potter and D'Mitrik Trice for a boost over the scuffling Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Key Player - Micah Potter
Micah Potter has been producing on both ends of the floor all season for the Wisconsin Badgers. The 6-foot-10 senior had a bit of a rough outing against the Michigan Wolverines' big man Hunter Dickinson and should be eager to make up for his off-night.
Potter is averaging 12.5 points and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds per game, and he should be due for a big night of scoring against this Rutgers' defense. The Wisconsin Badgers are in need of a win, and Micah Potter's performance could be the key factor on Friday night.
Wisconsin Badgers Predicted Lineup
G Nate Reuvers, G Aleem Ford, G D'Mitrik Trice, F Brad Davison, F Micah Potter
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights had their last game against the Penn State Nittany Lions postponed, and this break seems to have come at a good time. The Scarlet Knights have been in quite the slump as a team recently, losing four of their last five Big Ten conference games. The Scarlet Knights were ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP Poll but have since fallen well out of the top 25. The Scarlet Knights have an opportunity to shake up the standings in the Big Ten with a win on Friday, and they should be well-rested and at their best.
Key Player - Ron Harper Jr.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights' key to victory against the Badgers could be guard Ron Harper Jr. The 6-foot-6 junior will have his number called many times against the tough Wisconsin defenders and will need to perform under pressure. Harper Jr. has led the Rutgers offense all season, and it should be no different if they are going to upset the Badgers on Friday.
Rutgers Scarlets Knights Predicted Lineup
C Myles Johnson, G Jacob Young, G Geo Baker, G Montez Mathis, G Paul Mulcahy
Wisconsin vs. Rutgers Prediction
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights' struggles have brought light to their weaknesses, but they have also proven to be a very strong team this season. The Wisconsin Badgers should enter Friday's matchup with much better energy and play their usual well-rounded basketball. I expect this game to be much closer than what the teams' records would show but the Wisconsin Badgers to hold on for a victory over Rutgers.
Where to watch Wisconsin vs. Rutgers?
The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.