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Rutgers won’t catch Wisconsin in a defensive showdown

Though it still seems weird to see Wisconsin and Rutgers playing a Big Ten Conference game on Dec. 3, this is the case between these two defense-oriented teams.

Wisconsin is coming off a big road win against Iowa and will be at the Kohl’s Center with the best player on the court, Ethan Happ. The 13 points and seven rebounds he had against Iowa was the first time this season he did not register a double-double and is a rare true center that has great vision, dishing 5.3 assists per game.

The player that is second on the team in assists per game is D’Mitrik Trice with 2.6 per game. He brings to the table 3.5 made 3-point shots per game for a Badgers team that is 14th among Division-I teams in 3-point shooting percentage.

Though Rutgers ranks ninth among DI teams in defensive efficiency, the team is 113th in opponents’ 3-point shooting percentage while ranking 24th in opposition 2-point shooting percentage. This will lead to Happ getting the ball inside and swinging it back out to Trice and fellow starting guard Brad Davison for 3-point shooting looks.

Don’t expect an offensive explosion, especially if Davison can draw five charge calls like he did against N.C. State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, but Wisconsin should hold serve at home against an improved Rutgers bunch.

The play: Wisconsin, -13 ¹/₂

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