Men’s Basketball: Badgers face difficult home finale against Illinois

The Badgers look to pick up a resume building win against No. 5 Illinois

· Feb 25, 2021 Tweet

Justin Mielke/The Badger Herald

The Wisconsin men’s basketball team (16-8, 11-7 Big Ten) will look to snap their streak of five consecutive losses to ranked opponents as the Badgers welcome fifth-ranked Illinois (16-6, 12-4) to Madison Saturday.

The Badgers enter Saturday’s contest coming off an impressive win last Sunday against faltering Northwestern (6-14, 3-13). Senior forward Micah Potter impressed in Wisconsin’s 68-51 victory. Potter tallied 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting. The senior from Mentor, Ohio has been on a tear over his past two games, averaging 21 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Illinois on the other hand is coming off their most disappointing loss of the season. The Illini struggled on the road in East Lansing and were upset 81-72 against Michigan State (12-9, 6-9).

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The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated, as Illinois trailed Michigan State by as many as 19 points in the second half.

The Illini have a tune-up game this evening against Nebraska (5-16, 1-13) before Saturday’s showdown in Madison.

Rebounding will be a key in Saturday’s matchup. The Badgers struggled mightily matching Illinois’ physicality on the boards in their Feb. 6 road loss to the Illini. The Badgers were outrebounded by 27 in their 15-point loss and were outscored 38-28 in the paint. Expect the Badgers to crash the boards early on Saturday.

A key player to watch for Wisconsin will be senior forward Nathan Reuvers. Reuvers, the 6-foot-11 senior from Lakeville, Minn, has struggled as of late averaging a disappointing 4.25 points per game over his last four games. Reuvers, an All-Big Ten third-team selection a year ago, averaged 13 points per game last season but has only put up 8.8 points per game in his senior campaign.

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Wisconsin will need to slow down the production of junior guard Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu — a National Player of the Year candidate — tore Wisconsin up in the program’s last meeting, becoming the third player in Illinois history to record a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Dosunmu is looking to bounce back after an underwhelming game against Michigan State — shooting only 6-for-18 from the field.

Tip-off Saturday is scheduled for 1 p.m. and Badger fans can catch the game on ESPN.


This article was published Feb 25, 2021 at 5:54 pm and last updated Feb 25, 2021 at 5:54 pm


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