The Badgers and Gophers cap off the regular season on Sunday afternoon. Back on January 21st, Wisconsin came out of “The Barn” victorious, but needed overtime to do it, scraping by with a 78-76 win. The game will be the 201st matchup between the two programs. Tip-off is at 5:00 p.m. CT and will be televised on BTN.
G: Bronson Koenig (14.1 PPG, 2.0 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (8.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG)
F: Nigel Hayes (13.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.9 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (6.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (14.0 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.8 APG)
G: Nate Mason (15.4 PPG, 5.3 APG)
G: Akeem Springs (9.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG)
F: Amir Coffey (12.0 PPG, 3.1 APG)
F: Jordan Murphy (11.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG)
C: Reggie Lynch (8.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG)
Minnesota and Wisconsin are two teams that have gone in completely different directions over the course of the last month.
While the Badgers have dropped five of their last six and lost their stronghold on the Big Ten conference, Minnesota has been on fire, winning their last eight games.
The last game between the Gophers and Badgers was an overtime thriller. The Badgers’ win gave them a 5-1 conference record at the time, and the Gophers fell to 3-4. Now, the two teams have the same record at 11-6 and are tied in the Big Ten standings.
Ethan Happ enjoyed one of the best games of his career against Minnesota earlier this year. The sophomore forward totaled 28 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five blocks, as he basically willed the Badgers to a win.
Minnesota has been peaking at the right time and could be a dangerous team in March. Nate Mason is one of the very best guards in the Big Ten, and he has a couple of good weapons around him in freshman Amir Coffey and sophomore Jordan Murphy. Mason ranks third in the Big Ten in assists with 5.3 APG and Murphy is fourth in rebounding, just one spot behind Ethan Happ. Coffey figures to be one of the finalists for Freshman of the Year.
Sunday is the last chance for Wisconsin to get some momentum going into the post-season. Their loss to Iowa on Thursday night has the frustration of the team and fans at a high.
The game is also very important in terms of seeding for the Big Ten Tournament. If the Badgers win, they are the No. 2 and therefore don’t play until Friday. A loss could possibly bump the Badgers all the way down to the No. 5 seed depending on the results of the other games.