Date/Time -Sunday, January 5, 7 p.m. Central
Arena –Kohl Center (17,249)
Television -Big Ten Network (Brian Anderson and Mike Kelley)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)
Series – Iowa leads 79-78 (Wisconsin leads 50-28 in Madison)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 74-70 in double overtime, on February 6, 2013 in Madison
Wisconsin Probable Starters
1 Ben Brust (6-1 Senior Guard, 12.4 ppg)
12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Junior Guard, 10.6 ppg)
15 Sam Dekker (6-8 Sophomore Forward, 14.5 ppg)
21 Josh Gasser (6-3 Junior Guard, 8.4 ppg)
44 Frank Kaminsky (7-0 Junior Forward, 13.9 ppg)
Off the Bench
10 Nigel Hayes (6-7 Freshman Forward, 6.4 ppg)
13 Duje Dukan (6-9 Junior Forward, 4.0 ppg)
24 Bronson Koenig (6-3 Freshman Guard, 3.8 ppg)
Iowa Probable Starters
1 Melsahn Basabe (6-7 Senior Forward, 7.4 ppg)
4 Roy Devyn Marble (6-6 Senior Guard, 15.3 ppg)
10 Mike Gesell (6-1 Sophomore Guard, 6.2 ppg)
30 Aaron White (6-9 Junior Forward, 13.2 ppg)
34 Adam Woodbury (7-1 Sophomore Center, 5.9 ppg)
Off the Bench
0 Gabriel Olaseni (6-10 Junior Center, 6.2 ppg)
2 Josh Oglesby (6-5 Junior Guard, 6.5 ppg)
3 Peter Jok (6-6 Freshman Guard, 6.9 ppg)
5 Anthony Clemmons (6-1 Sophomore Guard, 4.6 ppg)
15 Zach McCabe (6-7 Senior Forward, 7.9 ppg)
20 Jarrod Uthoff (6-9 Sophomore Forward, 10.9 ppg)
Last Time Out
EVANSTON, Ill. - No.4 Wisconsin took up residence in the paint against hapless Northwestern and Hayes was the primary tenant, scoring a career-high 19 points in a 76-49 shellacking at Welsh-Ryan Arena Thursday.
The Badgers (14-0, 1-0 Big Ten) continue the best start in program history, and won their 11th straight conference opener, by scoring 44 of its points in the paint, putting at least four players into double figures for the 10th time this season and saw seven of the nine players who attempted shots shoot over 50 percent, including Hayes going 8-for-12 from the floor.
Fresh off being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the true freshman out of Toledo wasn't intimidated by the start of conference play. Hayes upped his scoring average to 6.4 per game, added a career-high six rebounds and had three assists with no turnovers.
Over the last three games, Hayes is averaging 15.3 points after averaging just 4.0 in his first 11 games.
Northwestern (7-7, 0-1) has shied away from the Princeton offense and its infamous backdoor cuts under first year head coach Chris Collins, but that didn't stop the Badgers from executing multiple backdoor sliders that led to easy post points. In reality, UW did everything right in the paint from low post moves, to dribble drives, to slam dunks that all created easy bunnies.
Wisconsin ended up shooting 59.3 percent in the first half, building a 40-14 halftime lead, and 55.2 percent for the game.
- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com
MADISON - Outworked and outhustled during its first three game losing streak to the Hawkeyes in over nine years, Wisconsin was following the same script during most of regulation Wednesday night.
Continued to be plagued by poor free throw shooting, Wisconsin shot 6-for-12 in regulation to almost watch a chance to keep pace with the Big Ten leaders slip away.
But as soon as Wisconsin got a second chance, the Badgers flipped the switch and took back possession of their Iowa rival.
"We just kept working," said senior Jared Berggren, who finished with 16 points and career highs in rebounds (14) and blocks (7) in Wisconsin's 74-70 overtime win over Iowa Wednesday at the Kohl Center.
"That was obviously a tough battle out there. It's a team that plays hard and they've had our number the last couple meetings with them, so we just kept fighting … We showed a lot of fight. We did just enough to find a way to get a win."
It was Wisconsin's first double overtime game since playing Eastern Kentucky on November 19, 2005. The Badgers won that one with their offense and 95 points. Wisconsin (16-7, 7-3 Big Ten) won this one by finally ratcheting up the intensity to match Iowa battle for battle.
Almost as important as his points, Berggren has two of his seven blocks and four of his 14 rebounds in the overtime session, as his eight offensive rebounds helped the Badgers score 20 second-chance points.
He had plenty of help along the way. Mike Bruesewitz grabbed seven defensive rebounds, drew charges and grabbed loose balls while Ryan Evans, in addition to his 15 points, added nine rebounds and tied his career high with five assists.
As a result, Wisconsin closed a rebounding gap that once favored Iowa by 11 to a slight 51-49 disadvantage by grabbing 12 loose balls in overtime.
"It was a just a grind fest," said Brust, who led all scorers with 18. "Whoever could get to the loose balls and whoever could make a play. We were just able to come up on the left side, which was good."
Although shooting only 33.8 percent (24-for-71) overall and 28 percent from three-point range (7-for-25), Wisconsin – the conference's worst free-throw shooting team at 56.2 percent – made 13 of its final 14 free throw attempts to keep the Badgers 1.5 games behind Indiana in the Big Ten standings.
As appreciative as the crowd was for the free-throw performance, it was the shots that came within the flow of the game that proved the most vital. Eleven days after he hit the game-winning shot against the Gophers, Traevon Jackson (13 points) hit a three-point shot that bounced off the front rim and the backboard before dropping in to tie the score with 20.5 seconds left.
After sitting on the bench for most of the second half and first overtime, Dekker hit a three-pointer from the right elbow with 1:37 remaining in double overtime that broke the last of the game's 14 ties.
"Good for me it went down," said Dekker, "and for the team."
- Benjamin Worgull, BadgerNation.com
This marks the 158th all-time meeting between Wisconsin and Iowa, in a rivalry that began in 1909.
Iowa has won 3 of the last 4 meetings in the series, but prior to that, the Badgers won 13 of the previous 15 meetings dating back to 2003.
Over the last 2 seasons, UW has only allowed 70 points or more in 3 Big Ten games, all were against Iowa - one in 2012 and both 2013 pairings.
Bo Ryan is 14-7 all-time against the Hawkeyes, including an 8-1 mark at the Kohl Center.
UW assistant coach Gary Close was an assistant at Iowa from 1986-99 ... UW senior Zach Bohannon, is from Marion, Iowa and his father, Gordy, was a quarterback on Iowa's 1982 Rose Bowl team
Iowa sophomore Jarrod Uthoff spent one season on the Badgers' roster, redshirting in 2011- 12.
In Big Ten home openers, Wisconsin is 11-1 under Bo Ryan, with the lone blemish coming in a 72-65 loss to Iowa in 2011. Last season, the Badgers dispatched Penn State, 60-51, in the Big Ten home opener.
Wisconsin is 31-11 (.738) at home under Bo Ryan against AP Top-25 teams, including wins in each of their last four games vs. ranked foes.
Six different players have led UW in scoring in at least one game this season and all five starters are shooting 37 percent or better from deep.
Wisconsin is one of just seven unbeaten teams in the nation.
For the 5th-straight season, Wisconsin ranks among the nation's top teams in taking care of the ball. Wisconsin leads the NCAA averaging just 8.2 turnovers per game.
Since Bo Ryan joined the Badgers in 2001, UW is 98-19 (.838) when attempting 25+ free throws in a game, including 6-0 this season and 6-0 a year ago.
White ranks first in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (.660) and fourth in free throw percentage (.833).
Last season, Iowa ranked 20th in the country in free throw attempts per game. The Hawkeyes have improved on that number so far this season, averaging 30.6 foul shots per game, ranking ninth nationally.
Iowa is getting 12.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game from their center position of Adam Woodbury and Gabriel Olaseni.
Iowa and Michigan State are the only Big Ten team this season to have four different players post a double-double.
Josh Gasser is the team's prototypical workman, spending countless hours in the gym, trainer's room and everywhere else to try to get his injured ACL operating again to help out his team in time for the 2013-14 season.
Gasser's determination has been an inspiration to a lot of his teammates, by their own admission, so it means something when the junior acknowledges someone else's work ethic on the roster.
Duje Dukan was not a key piece to Wisconsin's success over his first two seasons, but the junior's misfortunate last season allowed him to refocus his efforts.
"Kid works his tail off," Gasser said Dukan, who he's roomed with the last three years since enrolling together. "He's always in the gym. He's always trying to get better, watching film on his own, all this stuff to help us out any way that he can. He's got great talent, great skill and can shoot the lights out of the ball. He just needed to develop parts of his game and he's worked really hard at that.
"It's great to see a guy who didn't get as many minutes as he would like and not sulk, not whine about it, but continue to keep working at it and sticking with it."
Redshirted last year after suffering from mono in the fall, Dukan has turned himself into a player used strictly in garbage minutes to one of main pieces off the Badgers' bench. Appeared in all 14 games and averaging 10.0 minutes off the bench. Dukan is averaging 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
"He makes some plays," said assistant coach Gary Close. "He makes some shots. He's given us a boost at times off the bench scoring and rebounding. He's done a solid job at rebounding. I'm happy for him. Here is a guy who hasn't had a lot of opportunities and now he is. He's taking advantage of them."
Dukan made his statement in the career-high 21 minutes he played in the opener against St. John's, setting a personal best in points (15) and rebounds (5), and has continued that production entering Big Ten play.
After the bench scored seven points or less in a four game stretch from late November to early December, Wisconsin's bench has been averaging 26 points over the last four games, including a 32-point performance against Northwestern Thursday.
While Hayes has been one of the big reasons for that, averaging 15.3 over his last three games, Dukan is chipping in 5.7 per game while shooting 77.8 percent from the field (7-for-9) and 60 percent from 3-point range (3-for-5).
"He understands his role of coming off the bench and giving us a spark," said Gasser of Dukan. "He's a confident kid who works hard."
Wisconsin will need similar protection tonight against an Iowa team that has one of the best benches in the country. Ranked first in the country in rebounding (23.2) among reserves, Iowa's bench also ranks third in scoring (39.2) and blocks (3.8). The two big pieces to the bench are Olaseni and Uthoff, who are averaging a combined 17.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game.
Uthoff is one of only eight Division I players to average better than 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds off the bench, and will likely see a heavy dose of Hayes, who has been the breakout player this season for Wisconsin and is among the early favorites for freshman of the year.
"I love Nigel's game," said Gasser. "He's such a big body down there. If you play him one-on-one, you're going to lose every time. It's great to have a guy like that who you can get the ball to in the post and just clear out. He's got great intangibles. He can pass the ball well; he's unselfish and plays well on the defensive end of the court. That's what you want as a freshman. He's developed so fast. He's surprising people, but he's not surprising us."
As previously mentioned, Iowa has matched up well with Wisconsin over the past two seasons, but this is a different kind of UW team than we are used to. The Badgers aren't afraid to get out and push tempo and have flexed their defensive muscles over the past two months. The game in Iowa City might have a different outcome, but I like Wisconsin to tie the program's all-time record for consecutive wins to start a season with a six-point victory.
Worgull's Record: 11-3
Points off Prediction: 108 (7.7 per game)