Three Things To Watch: No.22 Wisconsin at No.14 Iowa

Three Things To Watch: No.22 Wisconsin at No.14 Iowa

Basketball

Three Things To Watch: No.22 Wisconsin at No.14 Iowa

After taking care of business against North Carolina State Tuesday, No.22 Wisconsin prepares for its Big Ten opener on the road against No. 14 Iowa Friday night. Like the Badgers (6-1), the Hawkeyes (6-0) are off to a strong start to their season and are coming off of a win against Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Wisconsin and Iowa have provided some entertaining matchups over the last five years but the two teams only played once last year, an 18-point victory in Iowa City. It’s obvious, however, that the Badgers are a different team compared to last year and that this figures to be another good matchup between the two programs.

In this Badgers Insider feature, we will look at the three keys or questions for Wisconsin as they prepare to play Iowa.

FREE THROW: WISCONSIN’S ABILITY TO CONVERT AT THE RIM

Ethan Happ had plenty of paint chances against North Carolina State but couldn’t get his usual consistent shot to fall. Happ has been able to generate quality looks all season, no matter the defense teams play against him, evident by his 54.8 percent shooting percentage for the season. That number has been helped by UW’s ability to knock down open shots outside the lane. In games against Oregon, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh, Iowa allowed an average of 36 points in the paint. UConn registered 46 of its 72 points in the paint against the Hawkeyes Nov.16.

After scoring only 14 points in the paint in their season-opening win against Coppin State, the Badgers over their last six games haven’t scored fewer than 26 points and they’re averaging 37 points in the paint over that stretch.

With Iowa allowing opponents to shoot 42.1 percent from the field and average 72 points per game, the Badgers will need to be able to convert around the rim in order to keep pace with Iowa.

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