Preview: Boston College vs. Wisconsin

It's win and advance in any kind of tournament, something Wisconsin certainly proved on Thanksgiving. After grinding past Manhattan, the Badgers face upset-minded Boston College, whose head coach is familiar with knocking off the Badgers.

Boston College (3-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. Wisconsin (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Friday, November 26, at 11 a.m. Central

Arena – Disney HP Fieldhouse(5,000)

Television - ESPN (Bob Picozzi & Dan Dakich)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – UW Leads 3-2

Last Meeting - Boston College won, 74-72, on Dec. 27, 1985 in Tucson, Ariz.

Wisconsin Probable Starters

11 Jordan Taylor (Junior Guard, 13.0 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (Freshman Guard, 11.8 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Senior Forward, 18.0 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 5.8 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Senior Forward, 7.0 ppg)

Off the Bench

2 Wquinton Smith (Senior Guard, 1.3 ppg)

5 Ryan Evans (Sophomore Forward, 7.0 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Senior Forward, 4.3 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Junior Guard, 1.0 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Sophomore Forward, 3.0 ppg)

Boston College Probable Starters

0 Reggie Jackson (Junior Guard, 19.3 ppg)

5 Biko Paris (Senior Guard, 7.3 ppg)

12 Joe Trapani (Senior Forward, 13.7 ppg)

31 Danny Rubin (Freshman Guard, 9.7 ppg)

55 Cortney Dunn (Senior Forward, 2.5 ppg)

Off the Bench

4 Gabriel Moton (Freshman Guard, 1.5 ppg)

11 Corey Raji (Senior Forward, 13.8 ppg)

30 Dallas Elmore (Junior Guard, 2.0 ppg)

52 Josh Southern (Senior Center, 3.0 ppg)

Last Time Out

Leuer had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Gasser added 12 points and Wisconsin overcame a lackluster start to beat Manhattan 50-35 on Thursday in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic.

Leuer had seven points during a 12-4 run that put Wisconsin up 31-16 with 15 minutes to play. The Badgers later scored 10 consecutive points, including a three-point play by Gasser, to put away the game.

Wisconsin (3-1), coming off a 68-65 loss at UNLV on Saturday night, shot just 36.2 percent (21 of 58). The Badgers averaged 83 points in their first three games.

''The second half we just got more into a rhythm offensively,'' Leuer said.

Series Notes:

All five meetings in this series has come on neutral courts and all in the month of December.

Boston College is coached by Steve Donahue, who is in his first season with the Eagles after spending the last 10 seasons as the head coach at Cornell. He led the Big Red to three consecutive Ivy League titles (2008-10) and a trip to the 2010 NCAA Sweet 16 by beating UW 87-69.

Wisconsin is 18-11 all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference, but has won its last four games. UW went 2-0 against the ACC last year (Maryland (N) and Duke (H)).

Boston College Notes:

Jackson scored 21 points and Trapani added 14 to lead Boston College past Texas A&M 67-65 Thursday in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic.

The Eagles forced 14 turnovers against the Aggies that resulted in 25 Boston College points.

Wisconsin Notes:

With Thursday's win, UW improved its record to 36-11 all-time under Bo Ryan in the month of November.

The Badgers limited Manhattan to just 35 points, the lowest total for a UW opponent since holding Michigan to 34 points in a 51-34 win in the first round of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament (3/14/08).

Wisconsin held Manhattan to just 10 points in the first half. That ties as the second-lowest scoring half by a UW opponent in school history. Manhattan's 10 points is the lowest for a UW foe since the Badgers limited Marquette to 10 points in the first half on Dec. 23, 1998.

Prediction

Two glaring stats stick out like Thanksgiving leftovers (by the way, I hope everybody had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving).

Boston College is averaging only 28.5 rebounds, 334th in the country. Yep, there are only 13 teams worse than Boston College at rebounding the basketball. For comparison, the Badgers have out-rebounded all four of their opponents this season. Wisconsin is 160-24 (.870) under Bo Ryan when out-rebounding its opponent. Advantage: UW.

The second thing is defense. UW held Manhattan to a scoreless drought of 8:32 during the first half. The Jaspers went without a point from 9:16 left in the first half to the 0:44 mark. Last season, Wisconsin forced its foes into 29 scoring droughts of four minutes or longer. UW was 19-2 last season in games when it forced an opponent scoring drought of four minutes or longer.

Wisconsin's first half was disastrous, going five minutes before making its first field goal, but Manhattan was worse, as both teams combined to shoot 22 percent (12 of 55) from the field in the first half. Wisconsin will certainly need a better effort, as it won't beat too many teams with those numbers.

The difference here will be the rebounding and the defense. Donahue's team is talented, but still learning his system. Ryan's players have been in the swing for years. Ryan gets some revenge on Donahue with a 12-point victory and UW moves on to the finals to face Notre Dame.

Worgull's Record: 4-0

Points off Prediction: 27 (6.75 per game)


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