Wisconsin (#9) faces Maryland (#8) on Thursday at 11 a.m. CT in the second round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Wisconsin has had tremendous success recently in the Big Ten Tournament. The Badgers have reached the finals in three of the last five years. In 2015, the Badgers won the championship over Michigan State in overtime. Michigan beat Wisconsin last year in the finals.
The Badgers will need to win four games in four days to win the championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. If the Badgers manage to pull off the feat, they would reach the NCAA Tournament for the twentieth straight year.
Maryland beat Wisconsin in early February, 68-63. Point guard Anthony Cowan scored 23 points in the Terrapins’ victory and attacked the Badgers defense with ease.
Wisconsin had solid production from its starters with four of them in double-digits, but the bench wasn’t able to provide a single point.
The Terrapins and Badgers contrast in their style of play. Maryland is an offensive team, while the Badgers win with defense. Maryland had the fourth best field goal percentage among all Big Ten teams in the regular season. Wisconsin had the fifth best scoring defense in the conference.
In the first matchup, Wisconsin held Maryland under their average scoring output, but the Badgers only shot 42.1% from the field. Maryland also lived at the free throw line going 18/19. The Terrapins were the best free throw shooting team in the conference during the regular season.