Wisconsin kicked off conference play Tuesday evening, pulling away from an eager but overmatched Nebraska team in the second half.

The Huskers started well in the game, pushing the Badgers throughout the first half and trailing by just one point at the break. However, Wisconsin kicked up the defensive pressure and pulled away during a strong second half for the 67-53 victory.

The latest win moved the Badgers to 7-1 on the season after opening B1G play with a victory. It was also the fourth time in eight games that Wisconsin held a team under 60 points.

Following the win, head coach Greg Gard took the opportunity to look ahead to Friday’s Christmas Day game. That matchup will be against Tom Izzo and the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans, a team that always gives the Badgers fits.

Gard believes there is a great explanation for those struggles: Izzo’s teams are usually really good.

Gard also took the time to address how his players feel about playing on Christmas Day. Some fans and analysts reacted negatively to the idea of playing on Christmas, but Gard insisted his players were excited to learn about the possibility of playing on Christmas.

Since the players will not be able to go home anyway, they are looking forward to the top-15 matchup:

Hopefully the game goes off without a hitch and proves to be a good one the entire way. Tipoff is set for Friday at 12:30 pm EST.