When: Wednesday, Jan. 28, 7:00 p.m. CST
Site: Value City Arena (19,200), Columbus, Ohio
Broadcasts: Fox Sports Net North, Wisconsin Radio Network
Series Notes: Purdue leads all-time series 96-58
The road to a Big Ten title will likely have to go through Madison this season, however, if the Badgers are going to win a third-straight regular season conference championship, they will need to prove they can win on the road.
With five of the next seven games away from the Kohl Center, the Wisconsin needs to step it up a notch to separate itself from the pack.
Coming off a decisive win over Illinois Saturday, the Badgers will get a second shot at a first conference road victory as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to battle Ohio State Wednesday night.
Last in the Big Ten in free throw shooting and assist/turnover ratio, the Buckeyes are playing a style of game very uncharacteristic of a Jim O'Brien coached Ohio State team.
The Buckeyes have dealt with their share of turmoil recently. Leading scorer Tony Stockman missed the Iowa game due to a one-game suspension for having a poor attitude. He returned to practice this week and will start Wednesday. Ohio State, though, lost the services of reserve forward Matt Sylvester, who is out at least a 4-6 weeks with a foot injury.
Despite the Buckeyes struggles, however, Wisconsin expects a tough game in a tough atmosphere, knowing Ohio State will bring its "A" game at home.
"They play a lot of zone, are really going to make us beat them from the outside," Wisconsin junior Boo Wade said. "We are just going to find the gaps and keep feeding the ball in the post, bang it inside."
What to watch for
How does Stockman react following the suspension? He has been the Buckeyes best player and whether he bounces back will be a telling sign. Ohio State in general must find some stability—11 different players have formed nine different starting lineups this season, as O'Brien tries to find the right combinations.
The Buckeyes could begin to lean more heavily on veteran guard Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, who had a career-high 17 points in the loss to Iowa.
By the Numbers:
19.5 – Wisconsin's average victory margin in four Big Ten wins
0 – the number of games UW has lost this season when they outrebound their opponent.
1 – Badger losses under Bo Ryan when they've scored 70 or more points.
.500 – the Badgers' shooting percentage the past two games.
.625 – Ohio State senior center Velimir Radinovic's shooting percentage this season, third in the Big Ten.
11.72 – Ohio State's average assists per game, second to last in the Big Ten.
8 – Ohio State's wins after leading at the half.