In-state rivals will square off on Friday night when the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Marquette Golden Eagles. This game will be played at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, but a lack of fans will put a damper on this annual showdown.
Wisconsin comes into this game as the number four team in the country, and they have dreams of reaching the Final Four this season. The Badgers are a perfect 3-0 to start the season and they have looked impressive in every game.
Marquette is hoping to be an NCAA Tournament team this season, but the Golden Eagles will have their work cut out for them. Marquette is 2-1 so far on the year after suffering a loss to Oklahoma State in their previous game.
The Wisconsin Badgers are 7.5-point favorites over their in-state rivals in this game.
Wisconsin Winning With Offense
The Wisconsin Badgers have traditionally been a great defensive team that likes to play slow, but that is no longer the case. This version of the Badgers can really score and they aren’t afraid to speed things up on the offensive end of the floor.
Wisconsin is scoring almost 84 points per game this season, and they have a number of players capable of taking over on offense. This team can really shoot, but they can also beat teams on the interior as well.
Nate Reuvers is currently leading the team with 15.0 points per game, and D’Mitrik Trice has dished out 4.3 assists per game. Reuvers and Trice will be big keys in this game if the Baders want to take control.
This will be the first real “test” for the Badgers after taking on some weaker teams. Wisconsin has a veteran team, and it shouldn’t take them long to get things going.
Marquette Missing Howard
The Marquette Golden Eagles entered this season without Markus Howard who was the leading scorer in the NCAA a season ago. His scoring has been missed, and the Golden Eagles don’t have anyone on the roster capable of stepping up in his absence.
Marquette is averaging nine three-pointers per game, and they will need to shoot well in this game to keep it close. The Golden Eagles normally try to speed things up against Wisconsin, but this strategy will not suit them this season.
Forwards Jamal Cain and Theo John have combined for more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, and they will need to dominate the paint against Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles might have a small edge on the interior, and that will need to be exploited.
Marquette has traditionally always gotten up for the challenge against Wisconsin, and that could be the case again. The Golden Eagles are a bit overmatched, but you can never count this team out.
Badgers Beat Down Golden Eagles
This game has produced some instant classics in recent seasons, but it’s hard to see that same thing happening in this one. Wisconsin is the much better team on paper, and they have been on a roll to begin the 2020 season.
Marquette just has not found anyone to makeup for the loss of Howard on offense, and points will be hard to come by in this game. Playing their rivals should pump up the Golden Eagles, but it will take more than adrenaline to win this game.
Wisconsin is a legitimate Final Four contender, and they aren’t messing around in this one. Look for the Badgers to take control early and cruise to an easy win.
Bet the Wisconsin Badgers -7.5 over the Marquette Golden Eagles in this matchup on Friday night.