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Maryland vs. Wisconsin preview: Terps look for upset win against first-place Badgers

Wisconsin can clinch the conference title with a victory.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Riding a three-game win streak and four days off, Maryland hosts No. 5 Wisconsin Tuesday in College Park. With a win, the Badgers would clinch the Big Ten title. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, with streaming available on WatchESPN.

Wisconsin has firmly cemented itself as the conference's best team, posting a 25-2 record with a 13-1 conference mark. They rank No. 4 in KenPom (Maryland is No. 39), with losses to No. 8 Duke and No. 220 Rutgers. The Badgers lost on the road to the Scarlet Knights on Jan. 11, but have won 10 straight since.

After four national championships with Division III Wisconsin-Plattesville and two years at Milwaukee, Bo Ryan was hired as Wisconsin's head coach before the 2001-02 season. They've made the NCAA tournament every year since, making six Sweet Sixteens and a Final Four last season.

Players to know

Frank Kaminsky, senior, 7'0. Arguably the best player in the country, Kaminsky is a top NBA prospect who does just about everything for the Badgers. He leads the team with 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, ranking second with 2.5 assists and 0.8 steals per game. He shoots 58.4 percent from two and 40.9 percent from three, is one of the best defensive rebounders and shotblockers in the country and is a matchup nightmare for just about any college team.

Sam Dekker, junior, 6'9. Another tall player who shoots well, Dekker is Wisconsin's leading two-point shooter at 62.6 percent. He's scoring 13.1 points with 5.1 rebounds per game, but has made just 33.7 percent of his 92 three-point attempts this season.

Nigel Hayes, sophomore, 6'8. Wisconsin's other double-digit scorer at 12.1 per game, Hayes is second on the team in rebounding as well (6.5). He performs well on both the offensive and defensive boards, and is shooting 37.3 percent from three.

Josh Gasser, senior, 6'4. Gasser isn't a huge focal point of Wisconsin's offense, but he ranks fifth in the nation in ORtg. That's in large part due to his low turnover rate (9.0 percent), high free throw numbers (50-of-59) and 42.5 percent mark from the field.

Bronson Koenig, sophomore, 6'4. Wisconsin's starting point guard is averaging 2.3 assists per game, third on the team. He's a good shooter (40.4 percent from three, 85.3 percent from the line) and rarely turns over the ball (0.6 per game).


Offense. Wisconsin ranks No. 1 in the country in the following categories: adjusted offensive efficiency, offensive turnover percentage, offensive block percentage, offensive steal percentage and fewest turnovers. They play extremely efficient basketball, scoring 72.3 points per game and making the most out of their possessions.

Frank Kaminsky. Have fun trying to figure out how Maryland's going to stop him.


Taking the ball away. Wisconsin thrives on limiting turnovers on their end, but they don't force many of those mistakes on defense. The Badgers force turnovers on 17.3 percent of opponent possessions (No. 284 in the nation), recording a steal on 7.6 percent (No. 309).


KenPom’s prediction: Wisconsin, 67-62. 71 percent chance the Badgers win.

Pete's prediction: Wisconsin 76, Maryland 62. Maryland's starting to get its game back together, but Kaminsky and Wisconsin's offense are just too much to handle. The Badgers' presence on the boards is something the Terrapins haven't really shown the ability to consistently deal with, and it could be a long night in College Park.