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Wisconsin Basketball vs. Northwestern: Analytics Game Prediction

How will Wisconsin basketball fare against Northwestern? Here’s what the analytics say.



I’m back folks, and I know it’s been a while since you’ve been able to get your Wisconsin Basketball & Football Analytics fix. And for that, I apologize, but also let me say you’re welcome!

I’ve been in the Analytics Lab over the past few weeks dialing in my Prediction Model, and it’s now good enough to publish. So when you’re looking to see what the next Wisconsin Basketball matchup looks like from an “analytics” perspective, as you should certainly be checking Torvik’s T-RankHaslametrics & (if you’re subscribed) be sure you’re checking on my prediction too! It’ll be here at Badger Notes for Every. Single. Game!

Wisconsin Basketball Prediction Model

First let’s start off with what comprises my Prediction Model (See Below):


Gard Your Fickell’s Model | 69.65 Projected Possesions

KenPom Model | 62 Projected Possesions

Torvik T-Rank | ???

Haslam Metrics | 64.9 Projected Possions = (Projected Points / “Should” OEFF)


Wisconsin Basketball has the Height advantage over Northwestern with an Average Height of 78.39 vs. 77.33 (inches). This plays a huge influence in my DREB% Model, along with the other Metrics listed (3PAR, FTAR, 2P%,3P% and OPP OREB%)


Wisconsin Basketball also has the DREB% advantage over Northwestern with an expectation of them grabbing 76.25% of Defensive Boards in Saturday’s Matchup vs. 75.06% for Northwestern. DREB% is a huge component in Stop Factor, which is essentially my own Defensive Efficiency Metric.


Wisconsin Basketball has a major edge in Stop Factor, coming in at a projected 1.95 Stop Factor to Northwestern’s 1.66. For those unfamiliar with Stopp Factor, it’s looking at a Team’s ability to be efficient on Defense. That can come in a variety of ways: Low eFG% given up to your opponent, Forcing a lot of turnovers, or collecting a high % of Defensive Rebounds available. Doing all three at a high level will usually put you >2.00 in Stop Factor; UW is really close to being projected there.

Score Prediction & Model Table

Final Thoughts on Wisconsin Basketball vs Northwestern

One of the great parts of analytics is it cuts through the “feelings” you have of your team. Which can change by the minute. So no more rose-covered or dark/tinted glasses when evaluating Wisconsin Basketball or Badger Sports in general! We’re strictly looking at the analytics, because it cuts through the noise. There wasn’t more noise in this season then when all the naysayers showed up for Greg Gard and the program after the Arizona Loss. But not I:

I got into it with a couple of folks on the X Platform around this post and many other posts of mine that day. Good Times!

At the time, the Badgers were Top 25 in KenPom but not nearly where they are right now, which, as of this writing, is (11th Overall AdjEM | #6 AdjOFF | #28 AdjDEF), but with a solid understanding of the analytics you knew the Badgers and Arizona weren’t as far apart as it seemed on December 9th. Now, my opinions were at the time much more driven by gut instincts and the eye test than in Data & Analytics as they were getting trounced in Tuscon to share such Tweets.

But as we look today, my Model has Wisconsin losing 84.4-86.58 to Arizona. Truly a Toss-Up.

And I’ll continue to die on the hill that Wisconsin is every bit as ELITE today as now many others think, as I thought they were on December 9th. This team was and still is continuing to show the nation that they’re extremely good, and that they have all of the pieces you need to go ‘All The Way’! The only thing that had been holding them back from truly ELITE Status in the analytics was 3P Shooting. And with its two best 3P Shooters shooting <25% from 3P, you knew that would eventually revert course back to the mean.

Strap in Badger Fans, because I think this team has everything it takes to be not only a B1G Champions but to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. So continue tuning into my coverage here on Badger Notes, and to everyone else on staff. We’ve got you covered on everything Wisconsin Sports!

On Wisconsin!

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Gard Your Fickell is a leading authority on Wisconsin Badgers analytics, specializing in dissecting the intricate data behind football and basketball. With a deep passion for the game and an analytical mindset, Gard Your Fickell offers readers a unique perspective on the Badgers performance.