Three-Point Shot: Iowa

Before No.4 Wisconsin takes on Iowa at the Kohl Center Sunday evening, Badger Nation looks at the three burning questions we're looking to have answered.

Wisconsin was able to open its Big Ten conference slate on the right note by cruising to an easy victory at Northwestern, but the Badgers likely won't have an easy time in its home Big Ten opener against Iowa.

The rivalry between Wisconsin and Iowa has taken a step up over the last five meetings, which have been decided by an average of 3.8 points per game. Once again it should be a good one between the Badgers and Hawkeyes.

In this Badger Nation feature, we will look at the three keys or questions for Wisconsin to have success against Iowa.

Lay up: Can Wisconsin come out strong?

Wisconsin hasn't had the toughest of challenge over the last three games but in order for them to be successful against the Hawkeyes, they can't afford a slow start on offense. Wisconsin went 4-for-9 in the first 7:40 minutes of action against Northwestern. The Badgers are going to have to come out strong to see if they can get into a rhythm.

A strong start for Wisconsin would allow them to possibly slow any early runs by Iowa. With the balance scoring amongst the starters, it's hard to know who will get Wisconsin going but someone will step up.

Mid-range jumper: Can Wisconsin make their free throws?

Wisconsin has improved its free throw shooting from a year ago but still is only shooting 73 percent from the line. With the last five matchups with Iowa being decided by 3.8 points, it will be important that Wisconsin knock down free throws.

Traevon Jackson has been aggressive all season trying to get to the free throw line. He's reached it 67 times (a team-high) and is shooting 71 percent from the free throw line.

The Hawkeyes are averaging 17 personal fouls a game so when Wisconsin does get to the line, Wisconsin will have to make sure they make them so they can try and put separation between themselves and Iowa.

3-pointer: Can Wisconsin slow down the Hawkeyes offense?

Over the past two seasons, the Badgers have allowed 70-plus points in only three Big Ten games. All have come against Iowa, meaning defense will be highly important.

Wisconsin will have a tough challenge of keeping contain of Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White, who are averaging 15.3 and 13.2 points a game, respectively. The Badgers have done a much better job of defending over the last month, but are going to have to try and slow down a Hawkeye offense, which averages 87.1 points a game.

With Marble and White being the top two leading scorers for Iowa, Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky are going to be key. Gasser against Northwestern was able to slow down Drew Crawford who, like Marble, is 6-6. Gasser should be able to keep contain of Marble when he's on him, but Kaminsky is going to have to be smart on defense and make sure he doesn't allow easy points. Kaminsky has improved his defense from a season ago and has done a good job of protecting the rim, averaging 1.8 blocks a game. He's going to have to be able to play physical in order to try and disrupt White's rhythm.

The Hawkeyes are averaging 45.6 rebounds a game, which ranks third in the NCAA. If Wisconsin can win the rebounding battle and prevent second-chance opportunities, Iowa could struggle to get into a rhythm offensively.

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