In-state rivals will battle for bragging rights in Wisconsin on Saturday. The Wisconsin Badgers will travel to Milwaukee to take on the Golden Eagles of Marquette. This will be the 80th meeting between these two schools, and Marquette holds a slim 42-37 advantage in the all-time series. The Golden Eagles blew out the Badgers last season in Madison, winning by a score of 82-63.
Wisconsin brings an 8-1 record into this contest, and they have climbed up to number 12 in the latest Associated Press poll. The Badgers only loss of the season came at the hands of Virginia in the championship game in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Marquette is off to a solid 7-2 start to the year, and they have won four straight games. Their only two losses came to Indiana and Kansas, two blue-bloods in college basketball. Marquette is a slim one point favorite in this game.
Wisconsin Wants To Slow Tempo
If the Badgers are going to beat Marquette, they will need to keep the game in the 60’s. Wisconsin ranks in the top-25 in scoring defense this season, allowing just 61.3 points per game. They come into this matchup averaging 73.8 points per contest, but the Badgers aren’t comfortable playing at a fast tempo. Expect Wisconsin to play a slow and methodical game against Marquette, and they will be disciplined.
Center Ethan Happ is one of the top players in the country, and he does a little bit of everything for Wisconsin. Happ leads the team with 17.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, and five assists per game. If The Badgers are going to get a big win on the road, it will be Happ that is leading them. Sophomore guard D’Mitrik Trice has stepped up his game this season, averaging 17 points per game. Wisconsin doesn’t have many superstars, but they have a solid team.
Howard Playing Great For Marquette
Junior guard Markus Howard is proving to be one of the best scorers in the country this season for Marquette. Howard leads the team with 22.4 points per game this season and poured in 45 points in the Golden Eagles upset victory over Kansas State. The Hauser brothers, Joey and Sam, have combined for 24 points and 12 rebounds per game this season. Marquette has plenty of offense to challenge for a Big East title.
Marquette is averaging 76.2 points per game this season, and have scored at least 67 points in every game this season. The Golden Eagles will try to make this an uptempo game to combat the great defense of Wisconsin. On defense, they must find a way to slow down Happ and the interior offense of Wisconsin.
Golden Eagles Beat In-State Rival
Both Marquette and Wisconsin should be NCAA Tournament teams this season, and this should be a great early season test. The winner of this game will likely be the team that controls tempo, and that should be easier for Marquette to do at home. Ethan Happ is an absolute beast and he will keep his team in the game, but Marquette will get the win at home. Bet the Marquette Golden Eagles -1.0 over the Wisconsin Badgers.