College Basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin - Wisconsin Favored
The fourth-ranked Badgers (23-2, 9-1 Big Ten) are 16-0 at home this season, including two wins against Top 5 teams - 89-75 over then-No 2 Pittsburgh on Dec. 16, and a 72-69 victory over then-No. 5 Ohio State on Jan. 9.
Oddsmakers have made Wisconsin -12 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds) for todays game, the over/under has
been set at 130.5 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).
The Badgers also won their last three games at the Kohl Center last season, and haven't lost there since a Jan. 31, 2006 defeat to then-No. 6 Illinois.
While the current 19-game winning streak is only halfway to the school record 38-game home win streak set between 2002 and 2005, Wisconsin has ridden its home success to a tie with the third-ranked Buckeyes for the Big Ten lead.
On the road, the Badgers defeated Penn State 71-58 on Wednesday. Alando Tucker, who has reached double figures in all 25 games this season, had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead the Badgers to their 19th win in 20 games overall.
"I don't think Alando has ever really taken a bad shot," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "A tough shot, maybe."
Wisconsin puts its streak on the line against an Iowa team that has won consecutive road games after dropping its first six games of the season away from Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes (14-10, 6-4) have won three straight overall, including road victories at Michigan and Minnesota. Adam Haluska, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 21.0 points per game, scored 34 points to lead the Hawkeyes past the Golden Gophers 91-78 on Wednesday.
Tyler Smith added 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Iowa made 10 of 16 3-point attempts, led by Haluska's 6-for-10 effort from beyond the arc.
"I think the biggest thing has been our confidence," Haluska said of the team's recent success. "In the beginning of the year we lost some close games and put our heads down, but the coaches kept believing in us and telling us that we're good - and I think we're starting to come around and believe."
However, Iowa has lost five straight games in Madison, where the Badgers are outscoring opponents by an average of 20.5 points per game this season. The Hawkeyes have not won at Wisconsin since Jan. 29, 2000.
Wisconsin has also won seven of the last eight meetings with Iowa overall, including a 57-46 road victory on Jan. 28. Tucker scored 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, and the Wisconsin defense held Iowa to just 28.1 percent from the field, the worst shooting performance for the Hawkeyes in seven years.
The Hawkeyes, though, have followed that loss by averaging 80.3 points per game in their last three straight wins. Iowa shot a season-high 58.2 percent against Minnesota, and is now one-half game behind Indiana for third place in the Big Ten.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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