4 storylines for IU’s game vs. Wisconsin

1. It keeps Happ-ening.
Ethan Happ has made a career of frustrating Indiana. The All-American candidate has scored in double figures in each of his six career games against IU, averaging 19.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists vs. the Hoosiers. Happ has recorded double-doubles in each of his last two outings against Indiana, including a 28-point, 10-rebound performance last year in Madison. The 6-foot-10 senior is one of only two players in the nation with two triple-doubles this season, and is one of only five major conference players in the last decade to post multiple triple-doubles in a season. Happ’s weakness is free throw shooting. At the line, he’s making only 43 percent of his attempts this season.

2. Being defensive.
Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top defensive teams again this season, and enters play ranked sixth nationally and second in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency, per KenPom.com. The Badgers have held teams to 61.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in Division I. In six of its past 10 games, Wisconsin has held its opposition to that team’s season-low scoring total. During the same 10-game span, Badgers opponents are averaging just 57.3 points, while shooting 37.9 percent overall and 28.4 percent from beyond the arc.

3. Diminishing role?
After playing what IU coach Archie Miller called the best game of his college career on Feb. 2 at Michigan State, Justin Smith hasn’t come close to replicating that performance. The sophomore forward logged only six minutes in Friday’s loss at Iowa and didn’t return to the floor when Miller pulled him moments after committing his second turnover of the game with 7:30 left in the first half. A starter in each of IU’s first 24 games, Smith has come off the bench for each of the past three contests — a streak that’s unlikely to change against Wisconsin.

4. Good and bad.
Tonight’s matchup pits Wisconsin, one of the Big Ten’s best 3-point shooting teams, against Indiana, the league’s worst. D’Mitrik Trice (43.4 percent), Brad Davison (40.7 percent), Brevin Pritzl (40.0 percent) and Nate Reuvers (39.4 percent) all rank among the league’s top 20 distance shooters. Davison has been finding his comfort zone of late, hitting 46.2 percent of his 3-pointers across the last 17 games. The Hoosiers, meanwhile, are on pace to finish as the Big Ten’s worst 3-point shooting squad in the KenPom era, which dates to the 2001-02 season. IU is shooting 26.3 percent from beyond the arc in conference games. Nebraska’s 2015 team stands as the worst 3-point team in the KenPom era after shooting only 26.5 percent from the perimeter that year.

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