Previewing Wisconsin

There is no opportunity for tune-up games for North Carolina after its stunning loss over the weekend -- two Top 10 opponents await. No. 7 Wisconsin, an impressive though untested squad, comes to Chapel Hill for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge on Wednesday. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.

North Carolina (5-1) vs. Wisconsin (6-0)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
9:30pm -- ESPN (Brent Musburger, Jay Bilas, Doris Burke)


"So the idea is to get back, protect the rim, and then protect against shooters, and that takes five guys. You definitely want to be in a five-on-five game with them. If you're in a open area of three-on-three, Carolina wins three-on-three. Carolina beat anybody in the country three-on-three, four-on-four. Five-on-five is your best chance." – Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan on defending UNC's transition game

"It still is a joke. I know darn well that you'll never get Roy Williams here. He won't come to Wisconsin. He's afraid the people are going to boo him and everything else. I think that's all bogus." – former Wisconsin athletic director Pat Richter on the ACC/Big Ten scheduling last May


Season to Date: Wisconsin enters Wednesday's contest with a 6-0 record. The Badgers' average margin of victory thus far is 33.8 points per game. Head coach Bo Ryan's 11th squad in Madison has defeated Kennesaw State, Colgate, Wofford, UMKC, Bradley and BYU.

Preseason AA Living Up to Billing: Jordan Taylor's name was penciled into the preseason All-America team as soon as he earned second-team All-America honors last season. The Bloomington, Minn. product led the Big Ten with a 3.83 assist-to-turnover ratio and averaged 18.1 points a game as a junior, and while he's not placing the same level of importance on scoring this season (11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Taylor has gotten even better at managing the offense. He currently leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally with a 5.0 assist-to-turnover mark (35-7). The senior is capable of knocking down the 3-ball – he's shooting 37.8 percent (124-of-328) for his career.

Balanced Attack: Patience is key to working in Ryan's system, so experience is a must. As such, Wisconsin's starting lineup consists of three fourth-year players, a junior and a sophomore. That group, along with sophomore reserve guard Ben Brust (12.8 ppg), provide the bulk of the Badgers' scoring and share those duties efficiently. Red-shirt junior forwards Jared Berggren (12.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and Ryan Evans (9.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) join sophomore guard Josh Gasser (10.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and junior forward Mike Bruesewitz (7.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) to fill out the starting lineup alongside Taylor.

Bombs Away: Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and ranks second nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (47.2 percent, 68-for-144). The Badgers are knocking down 11.3 treys per game (3rd nationally). Nine different players have made a 3-pointer and five of those have made at least seven treys this season.

Defensive Lockdown: It's not uncommon for Ryan's squads to rank near the top nationally in scoring defense due to his halfcourt preference – Wisconsin is holding opponents to 39.2 points per game, tops in the nation -- but the more impressive statistic is the Badgers' field goal percentage defense, which sits at 30.5 percent. Opponents are shooting just 22.9 percent from the 3-point line (16-of-70).

Owning the Boards: The Badgers have outrebounded all six of their opponents and boast a plus-13.8 rebounding margin.

Stat to Watch: Ryan's squad turned the ball over 12 times against BYU, marking just the second time in 31 games that Wisconsin has committed 12 or more turnovers. The Badgers currently rank third nationally in fewest turnovers per game (8.8).

Random Fact of the Day: Wisconsin is 6-0 for the first time under Bo Ryan, who won five Big Ten championships in his first 10 years in Madison.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Badgers, 88-82, in the Elite Eight in Syracuse, N.Y. in 2005. Wisconsin cut its deficit to three points with under a minute left to play on Kammron Taylor's 3-pointer, but Raymond Felton drilled six straight free throws to seal the victory for UNC.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Wisconsin, 1-0.

Projected Starters:
11 Jordan Taylor (6-1, 195, Sr.) - 11.0 ppg, 5.8 apg
21 Josh Gasser (6-3, 190, So.) - 10.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
40 Jared Berggren (6-10, 235, Jr.) - 12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg
31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6, 222, Jr.) - 7.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg
5 Ryan Evans (6-6, 210, Jr.) - 9.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Top Reserves:
1 Ben Brust (6-1, 190, So.) - 12.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11, 230, Fr.) - 3.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg
33 Rob Wilson (6-4, 200, Sr.) - 3.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg

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