Wisconsin can brag about many of the same attributes though. And Saturday, the Badgers won the hustle battle, likely making the difference in the game.
"We like to be known as a team that is hard-nosed too," UW sophomore Mike Bruesewitz said. "Today the message was just, 'be as tough as you can, put your nose in there, not be worried to get bloodied up and stuff like that.' I think it was just two teams going head-to-head and today we came out on top."
The Badgers hauled in 15 offensive rebounds off 31 missed shots, taking time off the clock and wind from Marquette's sails. 12 of the second chances came in the second half, including one dynamic possession where UW grabbed two offensive boards and ran off nearly 1:30 from the clock.
Leading the charge was Bruesewitz, collecting eight total rebounds (four offensive), drawing a charge from Vander Blue and sliding 10 feet going after a loose ball. Brueser only scored two points in the game, but played the role of thorn-in-side all afternoon for Marquette.
"Any time we get an offensive rebound that is frustrating," Leuer, who finished with six rebounds said. "Then you have to play defense for 30 more seconds, so it definitely wears an opponent down."
Gasser vs. Blue
After MU freshman Vander Blue spurned the Badgers and backed out of an oral commitment last year, many Badger fans had this game circled on their calendar for months in advance.
The story was given an interesting plot twist when Josh Gasser — the Port Washington native who picked up Blue's abandoned scholarship — became just the third freshman ever to start under Bo Ryan and the Badgers second-in-command of the backcourt.
The drama was all pre-game, however, as both freshman played up to the roles they have established this season. Gasser finished the game with four points (including the first bucket of the game) and just one turnover in 30 minutes against MU's hectic pressure defense. Blue end the contest with seven points, three rebounds, an assist, one dunk and a steal.
When all the drama has died down, it will look like both players probably ended up where they were best suited.
"He is great, he just does so many things for us," Leuer said of Gasser. "A lot of things that you wouldn't even notice. But as a freshman, to play as he does, he gives us a lift."
Ryan described Gasser's value in an even simpler way.
"He does a lot of things to help us end up in the left hand column," said Ryan.
Marquette stayed with its zone press for most of the game, but stopped pressuring with it during most of the second half after UW found a couple of open driving lanes on reverse passes. … Marquette reached the double bonus with 10 minutes left in the second half and at one point led Wisconsin in free throw attempts 17-3. … Ryan once again went deep into his bench, giving minutes to Ben Brust, Wquinton Smith and Brett Valentyn.