Who do are Inside Wisconsin basketball insiders have advancing to the Maui Invitational Championship Game?
Ben Thorson (@benjthorson): For the third consecutive season, the Wisconsin Badgers will face off with the Georgetown Hoyas in a November tournament. In 2014, the Badgers survived a scare from the Hoyas prevailing 68-65, but Georgetown got revenge in 2015 as they won 71-61. Who wins the rubber match?
If you would have asked me with 37 seconds left in Georgetown’s contest against Maryland on November 15th, I would have told you Georgetown is currently playing better basketball than the Badgers. But since that moment, the Hoyas blew a 6-point lead to Maryland, lost to Arkansas State, and tried to blow an 18-point lead against #13 Oregon on Monday afternoon.
With that being said however, Georgetown can and will beat the Badgers if Wisconsin continues to be careless with the basketball. Wisconsin overcame a season-high 18 turnovers to beat Tennessee on Monday and are currently averaging 14.5 turnovers per game to start the season.
The Hoyas are led by senior transfer Rodney Pryor. Pryor is averaging 19.8 points per game to go along with 5.5 rebounds per game. On Monday, Pryor posted 26 points and 10 rebounds in Georgetown’s 65-61 victory over the Ducks.
Georgetown also gets consistent play from junior guard L.J. Peak. Peak is averaging 17.5 ppg on the young season with a low-game of 14 points in a 105-60 win over USC Upstate in their season opener.
The Badgers must limit turnovers but must also avoid scoring droughts that have plagued them in each of their first four contests. Tennessee used a 12-0 run on Monday to fight their way back into a contest they belong to compete in.
I predict Wisconsin does a better job handling the basketball on Tuesday, but doesn’t do a well enough job to blowout the Hoyas. This, coupled with solid defensive efficiency from Georgetown keeps the contest close throughout.
Thorson’s Prediction: BADGERS 68 Georgetown 63