Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2024

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No. 15 Wisconsin bids to remain the only unbeaten team in Big Ten Conference play when it hosts Northwestern on Saturday afternoon in Madison, Wis.

The Badgers (12-3, 4-0 Big Ten) are coming off a 71-60 victory at Ohio State on Wednesday behind Max Klesmit, who scored all 18 of his points in the second half. The Badgers trailed Wisconsin 56-54 with 5:49 left before closing the game on a 17-4 run.

“Obviously a really gutty performance,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. “I thought a defensive battle between two really good teams until we were able to break free and make some shots there in the last five, six minutes. But really proud of how our guys hung in there.”

Northwestern (12-3, 3-1 Big Ten) also picked up a comeback road win Wednesday night, rallying from 10 points down for a 76-72 victory at Penn State.

Wisconsin, 4-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2012-13, has won five straight and 11 of its last 12.

AJ Storr, a sophomore transfer from St. John’s, averages a team-best 14.9 points per game. Storr had 17 points against Ohio State, his 10th straight game in double figures.

The tandem of 7-foot Steven Crowl and 6-9 Tyler Wahl has been effective inside. Crowl averages 12.1 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds, while Wahl adds 11.8 points and 6.0 boards. Wisconsin is 10-0 when outscoring its opponents in the paint.

The Badgers, who lead the Big Ten in free throw percentage at 76.2 percent, hit 10 of 11 vs. Ohio State.

Brooks Barnhizer scored a career-high 23 points to pace Northwestern past Penn State. Boo Buie had 17 points and a game-high eight assists, and Ty Berry added 16 points.

The Wildcats shot 61.4 percent from the field (27-for-44) against Penn State, their highest shooting percentage in a conference game since 2010-11.

Northwestern has four players in double figures, led by Buie with 18.1. Barnhizer averages 13.9 points and a team-leading 7.2 rebounds, Berry adds 12.1 points, and Ryan Langborg 11.7.

Northwestern is 3-1 to start conference play for the second straight season, the first time in back-to-back seasons since 1966-67 and 1967-68.

The Wildcats entered this two-game road swing with an 88-74 home win over Michigan State, which followed a 30-point loss at No. 10 Illinois.

“You get knocked to the floor in this conference a lot,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said after the Michigan State game. “I think there were nine teams pretty much .500 last year, which means everyone kind of beats each other up throughout the course of the year.”

The Wildcats swept the Badgers in a pair of close games last season, winning 66-63 at home and then 54-52 win at Madison.

–Field Level Media

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