Wed. Jan. 8, 8 pm CST - Madison, Wisc. - Kohl Arena (17,249)
Big Ten Network - Brian Anderson, PBP, Mike Kelley, analyst
Notes (per Wisconsin sports info):
1 GOOD START: At 14-0, UW has posted its best start in 100 years (UW went 15-0 in 1913-14). The Badgers own the top spot on ESPN's RPI, going undefeated in the non-conference vs. teams with a combined record of 100-47 (.680) in all other games.
2 WRECKING THE RANKED: Wisconsin is 31-11 (.738) at home under Bo Ryan against AP Top-25 teams, including wins in each of their last 4 games vs. ranked foes.
3 BO KNOWS BIG TEN: Bo Ryan's .707 (145-60) win percentage in Big Ten games is the 2nd-best mark of any coach in history behind OSU's Thad Matta (112-45, .713) and ahead of Indiana legend Bob Knight (353-151, .700).
4 BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY: UW has proven it can win in any style this season, topping 80 points in 5 games and grinding out a defensive battle at Virginia. The Badgers' scoring average (75.1 ppg) is up 10.1 ppg from last season, while the 38 points allowed at UVA were UW's fewest given up in a road game since 1957. Wisconsin is averaging 1.23 points per possession, the top mark in the Big Ten.
5 DOUBLE-DEKKER: Sophomore Sam Dekker has posted 3 double-doubles over the last few weeks, including 16 points and 11 rebounds vs. Prairie View A&M. A preseason Top-50 candidate for both the Wooden and Naismith Player of the Year awards, Dekker leads UW averaging 14.5 points and 6.4 rebounds, while shooting 53.1% overall.
6 BREAK OUT SEASON FOR KAMINSKY?: A year after averaging 4.2 points in 10.3 minutes per game, junior Frank Kaminsky is among the Big Ten's top 16 in both scoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). Kaminsky is the owner of the 2nd-highest single-game scoring effort in Div. I this season with 43 points vs. North Dakota.
7 BALANCING ACT: Six different players have led UW in scoring in at least 1 game this season and all 5 starters are shooting 37% or better from deep.
Ben Brust: G, 6-1, 195, Sr. - 12.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Traevon Jackson: G, 6-2, 208, Jr. - 10.6 ppg, 4.4 apg
Sam Dekker: F, 6-8, 220, So. - 14.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Josh Gasser: G, 6-3, 190, RJr. - 8.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Frank Kaminsky: C, 7-0, 234, Jr. - 13.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg
Series record: Illinois leads 110-79
Series streak: Wisconsin W5
Record at Madison: Wisconsin leads 53-39
Series streak at Madison: Wisconsin W3
Last year's meetings: WIS 74, No. 12 ILL 51 (1/12/13 at Madison
WIS 74, ILL 68 (2/3/13 at Champaign)
Groce vs. Wisconsin: 0-2
Fun fact: Bucky Badger, the Wisconsin mascot's full name is -- Buckingham U. Badger.
"They put eight players out there that can all score and have scored double figures at some juncture this season. Seven of them shoot 3s. They're very, very gifted offensively, very explosive offensively. They can hit two or three, four 3s in the span of a minute, minute-and-a-half and go on spurts. That makes them really, really dangerous, and then defensively we know over the years they've been just so solid. They don't beat themselves. They make you score up over the top of them. They do a good job of exciting the details of things really at both ends that help you win." -- Illinois coach John Groce.