Preview: Wisconsin Heads To Penn State

Jordan Taylor scored the final eight points of regulation to force overtime the last time these two teams met, but the Badgers will be looking to start hot and avoid a close finish come Saturday at 3 p.m. as UW goes for its 13th straight win against Penn State.

No. 17 Wisconsin (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) vs. Penn State (11-8, 4-4 Big Ten)

Date/Time — Saturday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. Central Time

Arena — Bryce Jordan Center (15,261)

Television — Big Ten Network

Radio — Badger Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series — Wisconsin leads all-time 25-8 and has won 12 in a row against Penn State

Last Meeting — Wisconsin won 79-71 in overtime at the Kohl Center, Jan. 24 2010

Wisconsin Probable Starters

11 Jordan Taylor (Junior guard, 17.4 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (Freshman guard, 5.4 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior forward, 3.9 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Senior forward, 19.2 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior forward, 9.6 ppg)

Penn State Probable Starters

15 David Jackson (Senior forward, 10.9 ppg)

25 Jeff Brooks (Senior forward, 13.9 ppg)

12 Talor Battle (Senior guard, 20.3 ppg)

22 Andrew Jones (Senior forward, 6.6 ppg)

23 Tim Frazier (Sophomore guard, 4.4 ppg)

Series Notes

Over the 12 game win streak against Penn State, the Badgers average winning margin has been 19.0 points per game, with only one contest really coming close at all. … Along with Ohio State, UW's 12-game win streak is the longest active streak in the Big Ten against one opponent. … A native of Pennsylvania, Bo Ryan has never lost to current PSU coach Ed DeChellis.

Wisconsin Notes

According to statistics guru Ken Pomeroy, the Badgers lead the nation in turnover percentage — a stat that measures turnovers per possession — and at play at the slowest pace of any Division I team. … Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing just 56.0 points per game. … At a combined 39.0 points per game, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor currently lead the Big Ten in scoring duos.

Penn State Notes

Though just 11-8 overall, PSU has scored wins over two ranked teams this season, taking down Michigan State and Illinois at home. … The Nittany Lions also hung in to the last seconds against Purdue and Ohio State, losing by a combined four points in the two games.

Prediction

Substituting for Ben Worgull today who is enjoying a cruise-vacation, I see the Badgers winning big. Wisconsin has clicked on offense for three straight games, and against Northwestern all of the role players were able to build up some confidence, knocking down jumper after jumper.

While Penn State normally would be a trap-type game — if those are even possible under a Bo Ryan coached team — they have already made their presence known early in the Big Ten with two separate upsets of title contenders.

Talor Battle, per usual, will get his points, but I struggle to see how any one else will have much effect against the long defenders Wisconsin can continue to throw out.

The Badgers already suffered one huge let down of the season — blowing a nine-point lead with 2:30 to go against Michigan State — and it is hard to imagine they will dig themselves into a deeper hole by losing to Penn State.

With a week in between games, UW players will be rested and hungry for real competition.

My Prediction: 72-53 in favor of Wisconsin.

Worgull's Record: 18-1

Points off Prediction: 105 (6.2 per game)


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