No. 6 Wisconsin On Upset Alert Thursday At Minnesota
The sixth-ranked University of Wisconsin could be on letdown alert Thursday night in Big Ten action at Minnesota as the Badgers really have little to play for as they already have clinched at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. True, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament is still possible if UW wins out. The Badgers are 6-point favorites on Sportsbook.ag.
Another Big Ten Crown
Wisconsin clinched at least a share of its 18th Big Ten title with a 68-61 win over Michigan State on Sunday. Now at 14-2 in the conference, the Badgers can claim the outright championship with one more win. They’ll finish up the season at Ohio State on Sunday. Maryland is still mathematically alive for a share of the Big Ten championship, but will need Wisconsin to finish 0-2, while winning its own final games at Rutgers and Nebraska. : At 26-3, UW has equaled its best start in program history (26-3 in 2006-07). The Badgers’ 14-2 mark in the Big Ten matches their best-ever start.
SE: According to Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings, the Badgers are the nation’s No. 1 offense, averaging 122.1 points per 100 possessions. UW leads the Big Ten shooting 47.3% during conference play. Frank Kaminsky is putting together a national player of the year type season and has elevated his game during conference play, averaging 19.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg while shooting 56.3%. Overall, he leads the Big Ten with 10 double-doubles. : In 12 games since taking over as starting point guard, Bronson Koenig has averaged 11.3 ppg, shooting 26-for-60 (.433) on 3FGs. On the season, his 3.3 A/TO ratio is eighth in the NCAA (min. 50 assists).
UW leads the nation in fewest fouls (12.6 avg.), fewest turnovers (7.5 TOs avg.) and fewest opposing FTAs per game (11.5). The Badgers also rank eighth in the NCAA in scoring D (55.8 ppg). Wisconsin is 27-7 (.974) away from home over the last two seasons (11-2 this season), owning the second-most road/neutral wins and third-best win percentage away from home among major conference teams.
Gophers Decent Team
Minnesota (17-12, 6-10) is likely headed for the NIT. The Gophers will be well-rested, having been off since a 96-90 overtime upset at Michigan State last Thursday. The Gophers win’ was their first in East Lansing since 1997 and their first win over a top-25 opponent this season. The victory also guaranteed Minnesota’s eighth consecutive season with a winning overall record.
Senior Andre Hollins sits in fourth on the Gophers career scoring list with 1,734 points, needing 43 points to tie Randy Breuer for third in the record books. Hollins is averaging 18.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in his last 11 contests (49.6 FG%, 47.4 3FG%).
The Badgers have won three in a row against the Gophers and seven of the last nine meetings. Earlier this season, Wisconsin claimed a 63-53 win over Minnesota on Feb. 21 in Madison. Kaminsky led UW with 21 points, while Koenig scored a career-high 17 points. The Gophers were 0-for-1 from the FT line in the game.
Key betting trends: Road team is 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings. Badgers are 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Minnesota. Badgers are 1-5-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. Underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
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