Wisconsin (10-15, 3-9 Big Ten) will play Illinois (12-12, 2-9 Big Ten) in Urbana-Champaign Thursday at the State Farm Center.
The past few weeks have not been kind to Wisconsin and Coach Glen Gard. The Badgers played hard in their last loss to Maryland but ultimately fell short in the final minutes.
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With the losses piling up, what has already been a disappointing season seems to be getting more demoralizing with each game.
Illinois, one of only two teams below Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings, could be the Badgers best chance at getting another win before the season ends with tough match-ups against #3 Purdue and #4 Michigan State on the horizon.
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Wisconsin dominated the Fighting Illini 75-50 at the Kohl Center several weeks ago in one of the Badgers’ most impressive games this season.
But Wisconsin’s recent struggles and a lack of home-court advantage casts doubt on whether or not they can repeat such a performance.
As per usual, Illinois native Ethan Happ will be the player to look out for in this contest. As frustrations on the season have mounted, Happ has struggled of late, shooting just 42 percent from the field in the past four contests.
But Happ had double-double performance in the last match-up versus Illinois and is still the undeniable focal point of the offense.
Leron Black looks to be the impact player for the Illini as he was their top scorer against Wisconsin in their last contest as well as on the season.
Black has a team high 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and can also hit from deep if left open, shooting 50 percent on limited attempts this year.