So you're saying we have a chance?Here's the problem. NW is a bad defensive team. NW's ineffective zone was no small part of why we had so much success moving the ball against them. Wisconsin is a good defensive team. Their perimeter players are very long, it's hard to get around them, and passing lanes are much smaller. We could perform at the exact same offensive level as we did against NW and look very mediocre offensive instead of very good. There's no room for our skip passes, our open looks at 3 become much more closely guarded, and our shooting % dips from 48% to 35%. Wisconsin is #1 in the country in defensive assist % - what percent of opponents FGs are assisted - at 39.2%. We are 9th in conference in offensive assist % and 242nd in the country at 50.3% (MSU is great at 64.2%), so between those two things, chances of us beating Wisconsin by passing through their defense are essentially nil.
Maryland beat Wisconsin off the dribble - only 8 of Maryland's 24 FGs were assisted, combined with Wisconsin having a terrible shooting day - just 27% 3s, 38.5% FGs, 58% FT. Maryland does a better job defending shooters than we do - they are close to top in the conference guarding both 2s and 3s by percentage - but if we're going to beat Wisconsin, it's going to be by Rice, Nunn, and Hill creating off the dribble (doesn't sound likely), keeping Wisconsin away from the basket, and hoping they miss shots they normally make. That's about it.
Some more stats: Wisconsin's defensive efficiency is 93.0 - 2nd in conference to OSU at 92.9. Wisconsin is #23 in the nation in defensive efficiency. Northwestern is second to last in conference at 104.2, and 248th in the country. Only IU is worse- and the big problem with IU is their interior defense, and we're not a team that thrives in capitalizing against poor interior defenses, unfortunately.
Our defense is pretty good - 95.7 efficiency (4th in conf, 62nd in country), but it's not as good as Wisconsin's.
Meanwhile, on the offensive side, Wisconsin is the #1 team in offensive efficiency in the conference by a margin at 119.6 (5th in country). We are right in the middle of the pack at 106.5.
Wisconsin basically never gives up the ball, so we'll never get in transition against them.