Wisconsin Basketball: Badgers looking to make statement against Northwestern

The Wisconsin Badgers will look to continue their hot streak against a Northwestern team fighting for an NCAA Tournament bid.

The mantra of the 2014-15 Wisconsin Badgers basketball team was “Make ’em believe” and it looks like it might be the phrase of this year, too. After learning they are not a part of the current top 16 teams as revealed by the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, Wisconsin will look to continue to pad their resume and remain atop the Big Ten standings.

Understandably, the reveal of the current seeds virtually means nothing at this point, as teams’ standing will change every day. For instance, Butler was ranked a four seed before losing to Providence on the same day.

Wisconsin (21-3, 10-1) will be looking to make a statement to the committee and the college basketball world after garnering the reputation and notion that they have no good wins and have played no quality teams this season. The Northwestern Wildcats are enjoying one of their best starts in program history and are as close to punching their first ever NCAA Tournament bid than ever before.

Losers of two straight, Northwestern will be looking to get back on track and get a statement win to solidify their argument for the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats (18-6, 7-4) were upended at Purdue last week before falling to Illinois at home in their most recent game in a surprising upset.

Not only does Northwestern pose as another opportunity to add a “good” win to the resume, but after a slew of close games over lesser opponents, the Badgers could really use a blowout win over a high-quality opponent.

“We’ve been tested a multitude of ways and I’m proud of how they responded from a fortitude standpoint, but we’ve got to continue to mature and grow in other areas,” Badgers coach Greg Gard said after the win over Nebraska.

Wisconsin is currently enjoying an eight-game win streak and find themselves leading Purdue and Maryland by two games in the loss column for the Big Ten lead. During that span, the Badgers went 3-0 in overtime games- all over unranked teams, and racked up five wins by single digits.

Northwestern will be without junior guard and the team’s leading scorer, Scott Lindsey, who has been battling mononucleosis.

The Badgers and Wildcats will tip off at 5:30 CT on Big Ten Network. Northwestern won their lone meeting last year in Evanston 70-65.

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