|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 PM GMT9:00 PM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Nov 30, 2018
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa Attendance: 15,056
Big 10 powers: No. 14 Iowa hosts No. 22 Wisconsin
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With seven teams in The Associated Press Top 25 and two others receiving votes, it's a sure bet that every night in Big Ten Conference play will be a battle.
The first taste of what to expect this season comes when No. 22 Wisconsin travels to Iowa City on Friday to take on the No. 14 Hawkeyes as conference play quickly has arrived.
Iowa is off to a 6-0 start with three wins over power programs. Wisconsin is 6-1 with one of the nation's best players in Ethan Happ. Both survived their tests in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with the Hawkeyes beating previously undefeated Pitt, 69-68. The Badgers hung on to beat North Carolina State 79-75.
The early season challenges mean these two Big Ten powers will be prepared to slug it out at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa is off to a sizzling start and despite being down to nine scholarship players, Fran McCaffery's squad is humming along on offense averaging 85.3 point per game.
Twice against Pitt, Hawkeye nation was holding its collective breath. Leading scorer Tyler Cook crashed to the floor twice, but bounced back up each time.
Cook's averages 14.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Cook's frontcourt running partner, Luke Garza averages 14.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Freshman Joe Wieskamp is 11.3 and 5.8 per game and seems to be getting more comfortable in his role with the Hawkeyes.
"The nine guys we have, it's a good nine," third-year guard Jordan Bohannon said after the Hawkeyes survived Pitt. "It's mostly guys who have been here a while. It's a veteran group. We know what we have to do."
One of those veterans, Cook, said he can play better than he has this young season.
"I haven't been playing up to my personal standards, as of late, I'll say," Cook said, adding that depth should not be a problem for Iowa.
Wisconsin stumbled to a 15-18 record last season and failed for the first time in 19 years to make the NCAA Tournament.
Early this season, the difference simply has been experience and confidence.
"I think this group has embraced (being gritty," head coach Greg Gard told the school newspaper. "You're not gonna make every shot, (there's) gonna be some nights where you're gonna struggle. But to have the fortitude to keep fighting back and to keep rallying is a good trait to have."
It's also pretty good to have Happ, who figures to be in the All-America mix when teams are announced at the end of the season. Happ comes into the Iowa game averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.
When the two teams played last year at Carver Hawkeye "we didn't have our best game," sophomore forward Aleem Ford to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "and they came out and smacked us in the mouth."
Iowa got off to a hot start and led by nine in the first three minutes, nine at half and won by 18 in a walk.
The Badgers remember very well and hope to have learned from that smack down.
"You can't let a team get up on you like that, especially on the road," said Nate Reuvers, who finished with five points and four rebounds in 25 minutes in the 18-point loss. "At home, you've got the crowd behind you and you can get energized.
"When you're on the road and you get down like that, it is tough."
Happ knows he has to shake his early start doldrums.
"I've always felt more comfortable in the second half after being able to see how teams are reading me," Happ said after the victory over North Carolina State. "But that shouldn't happen every game where I struggle in the first and pick it up in the second half."
Updated November 30, 2018