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Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Pick & Prediction JAN 18TH 2022

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Logo Northwestern Wildcats

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Northwestern coach Chris Collins felt his Wildcats "were on the doorstep" throughout a four-game conference losing streak.

Perhaps there was something to that premonition as Northwestern scored a 64-62 road upset of No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday.

"I'm just really proud of my team," Collins said. "We knew we were going to have to play really hard, really tough and together in a really tough atmosphere."

While the Wildcats (9-6, 2-4 Big Ten) will return to the comforts of Evanston, Ill., on Tuesday, they expect another challenge from No. 13 Wisconsin, especially with the status of injured star Pete Nance (ankle) in question.

The visit from the Badgers (14-2, 5-1), winners of six straight, continues a stretch that sees Northwestern face five ranked foes in a seven-game span.

"You always have another team coming," Collins said.

Northwestern topped Michigan State behind a strong effort from Ryan Young. Starting in the frontcourt in place of Nance, who was injured during Wednesday's double-overtime loss to Maryland, Young contributed 18 points and eight rebounds.

Chase Audige (14 points) and Boo Buie (12) followed in double figures for the Wildcats, who won the rebounding battle 40-35.

"The last couple weeks were disappointing, but today, hopefully, can be a positive momentum-builder," Collins said. "There's 14 (conference) games left, and you've got to take them one-by-one. You're judged by what you do at the end of 20, not by the end of six games."

Collins said the team is hopeful Nance may return to the lineup Tuesday.

Wisconsin has been idle since defeating visiting No. 16 Ohio State 78-68 on Thursday.

The Badgers clicked behind the usual suspects to beat the Buckeyes. Brad Davison scored 25 points, Tyler Wahl finished with 20 and Johnny Davis had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Wahl has topped 20 points in the past two games and on Thursday drilled his first two 3-pointers of the season.

"He's playing with a tremendous amount of confidence," Badgers coach Greg Gard said. "When you cross that threshold from sophomore to junior, a lot of things come with that that you hope to develop. He's improved his game in all areas and finally got some threes to go in for him. It's just the confidence he's playing with right now. He knows he's a really good player."

Wisconsin is fortunate to be able to say that about a handful of standouts on its roster. While Davis finished nearly 10 points below his season scoring average against the Buckeyes, he knew there was no reason to fret.

Even if his shot wasn't falling, continuing to contribute as a distributor, defender and rebounder could only help Davison, Wahl and the rest of the Badgers.

"Not one player is the entire team," Davis said. "If either one of these guys would have had an off night, I would pick them up. That's how it goes with this team."

Wisconsin touts a six-game series winning streak against Northwestern. The visiting Badgers prevailed 68-51 in the schools' most recent meeting on Feb. 21, 2021. Four of Wisconsin's victories during the run have come by double figures.

--Field Level Media

Wisconsin Badgers
Northwestern Wildcats

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Recap FEB 21TH 2021

Brad Davison scored 16 points, Ethan Happ posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and No. 22 Wisconsin escaped with a 69-64 win over Northwestern on Saturday night in Evanston, Ill.

D'Mitrik Trice added 14 points for Wisconsin (19-8, 11-5 Big Ten), which secured a winning record in conference play. The Badgers have won back-to-back games.

Vic Law scored a game-high 24 points for Northwestern (12-15, 3-13), which dropped its eighth consecutive game. Dererk Pardon added 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting.

A pair of free throws by Law cut Northwestern's deficit to 65-64 with 15.1 seconds left.

Davison pushed the lead back to three points when he sank a pair of free throws with 8.9 seconds to go.

Northwestern's final 3-point attempt clanked off the rim, and Wisconsin's Nate Reuvers added two more free throws.

Davison made it 65-62 with a jump shot from the baseline with 2:01 to go. His shot bounced twice high off the rim before finally falling through the net to increase the Badgers' margin to three points.

The basket came less than a minute after a three-point play from Wisconsin's Khalil Iverson that unlocked a 60-all tie.

Wisconsin led by as many as seven points earlier in the second half after a jump shot by Happ with 7:55 remaining.

Northwestern regrouped after a television timeout 21 seconds later. The Wildcats went on an 11-2 run to pull ahead 57-55 with 5:08 to play. Law scored all 11 of his team's points during the outburst, with three 3-pointers and a layup.

The Badgers opened the second half on a 6-1 run to grab a 37-33 advantage. But the lead did not stand for long as the Wildcats stormed back with five straight points, including a jumper and a free throw by Law for a three-point play.

Northwestern led 32-31 at halftime. Pardon led the Wildcats with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting at the break.

Neither team led by more than four points during the back-and-forth first half.

Wisconsin will stay on the road to face Indiana on Tuesday night in its fourth-to-last game of the regular season.

Meanwhile, Northwestern will have a four-day break before it hosts Minnesota on Thursday night.

--Field Level Media

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