Opponent Preview: Wisconsin Badgers

The Thursday night game is scheduled to tip at 6:00 p.m. from Williams Arena and can be seen on ESPN.

Minnesota (17-7, 5-6) vs. No. 20 Wisconsin (17-7, 8-3)
Minneapolis, Minn. – Williams Arena
6:00 p.m. CT – ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Sean Farnham)

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date
Wisconsin (17-7 overall, 8-3 Big Ten) has been on quite a run since beating Minnesota on Janurary 26. Since then, the Badgers have won three of their last four games with their only loss coming in a road contest to Ohio State. Wisconsin has played two overtime games in a row, a double-overtime thriller against Iowa and a 65-62 victory over No. 2 Michigan after Ben Brust made a half-courter to send it to the extra period.

Coaching Preview
Bo Ryan is in his 29th year of coaching with the last 12 of those at Wisconsin. With the Badgers, Ryan has compiled a 268-101 record overall while dominating at home with a 166-15 tally in Madison. Ryan's Badgers have made the NCAA Tournament every season he has been on the Wisconsin bench, an impressive feat.

Series History
Thursday's game will be the 183rd meeting between the two border rivals. Minnesota holds just a 94-88 edge over the Badgers but are 61-32 when playing at home. Tubby Smith is 4-6 all-time against the Badgers.

Last Meeting
The Badgers and Gophers played to a low-scoring but intense game when they met in Madison. Wisconsin won the game 45-44 thanks to a Traevon Jackson jumper with under two seconds remaining to give the Badgers the lead. Rodney Williams had a chance to tie the contest at the free throw line but made just one-of-two as the Gophers fell by just a point.

Rebounding Battle
Two of the Big Ten's top rebounders will square off on Thursday. Trevor Mbakwe currently leads the conference with 8.8 boards per contest while Wisconsin's Ryan Evans is third in the Big Ten, hauling in 7.7 rebounds per game.

Projected Starters
G 1 Ben Brust (6-1, 195, Jr.) – 11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg
F 5 Ryan Evans (6-6, 208, Sr.) – 10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg
G 12 Traevon Jackson (6-2, 213, So.) – 6.2 ppg, 2.4 apg
F 31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6, 223, Sr.) – 7.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg
C 40 Jared Berggren (6-10, 235, Sr.) – 11.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Top Reserves
F 15 Sam Dekker (6-7, 220, Fr.) – 8.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg
G 3 George Marshall (5-11, 185, r-Fr.) – 5.0 ppg, 1.3 apg

Background
Location: Madison, Wis.
Enrollment: 42,595
Conference: Big Ten
Nickname: Badgers
Colors: Cardinal and White
Coach: Bo Ryan (12th season)


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