Date/Time – Sunday, November 29, 1:30 p.m. central
Arena – Lloyd Noble Center (11,562)
Television – ESPN2 (Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Mike Heller and Andy North)
Series – Wisconsin leads 4-3 (Series tied 1-1 in Norman)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 69-56, on November 28, 2014, in Paradise Island, Bahamas
WISCONSIN PROBABLE STARTERS
3 Zak Showalter (6-2 Junior Guard, 9.5 ppg)
10 Nigel Hayes (6-8 Junior Forward, 14.0 ppg)
22 Ethan Happ (6-9 Freshman Forward, 10.8 ppg)
24 Bronson Koenig (6-4 Junior Guard, 17.3 ppg)
30 Vitto Brown (6-8 Junior Forward, 10.8 ppg)
OFF THE BENCH
15 Charlie Thomas (6-8 Freshman Forward, 2.4 ppg)
21 Khalil Iverson (6-5 Freshman Forward, 5.7 ppg)
24 Alex Illikainen (6-9 Freshman Forward, 5.0 ppg)
PLAYER TO WATCH
Showalter has emerged as an offensive threat, averaging 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per game. Entering the season, Showalter had made just 4-of-24 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range. Already in six games this season, Showalter is 8-for-22 (36.4 percent) from long range.
OKLAHOMA PROBABLE STARTERS
0 Ryan Spangler (6-8 Senior Forward, 10.7 ppg)
10 Jordan Woodard (6-0 Junior Guard, 11.3 ppg)
12 Khadeem Lattin (6-0 Sophomore Forward, 2.3 ppg)
11 Isaiah Cousins (6-4 Senior Guard, 12.0 ppg)
24 Buddy Hield (6-4 Senior Guard, 25.3 ppg)
OFF THE BENCH
1 Rashard Odomes (6-1 Senior Guard, 7.0 ppg)
2 Dinjiyl Walker (6-1 Senior Guard, 3.3 ppg)
3 Christian James (6-4 Freshman Guard, 5.0 ppg)
PLAYER TO WATCH
Not only is he sixth nationally in scoring, Hield is shooting 57.9 percent (11-19) from 3-point range (18th nationally) and his 3.7 made 3-pointers per game ranks 14th nationally. This season, Hield is averaging .95 points per minute he’s on the floor.
LAST TIME OUT
MADISON – The only home game in an 18-day span wasn’t as easy as anticipated for the University of Wisconsin.
Facing a 29.5-point underdog in Prairie View A&M, a team the Badgers had beaten by 44 points in 2010 and 37 in 2013, Wisconsin was in the familiar position of getting pushed by a mid-major program at the Kohl Center.
Wisconsin managed to scrap together enough plays late to earn an 85-67 victory over the Panthers, but the performance was anything but reassuring for a team about to hit the road again with a pair of games in hostile environments.
The Panthers (0-5) came in as one of the worst offensive teams in the country, averaging 58.2 points per game, but were exploding off the bench once Tevin Bellinger delivered a layup to cut the lead to 44-42. Bronson Koenig (team-high 16 points) hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession but there was an uneasiness in the building during a media timeout.
Prairie View shot 60.9 percent from the field in the first half and made three of its first five shots in the second half.
On the first possession following the timeout, Happ (12 points) drove to the line, converted at the rim through contact and made the free throw. Over the next nine possessions Wisconsin scored 13 points to cap a 19-6 run, given them all the breathing room they would need.
Wisconsin put six players in double figures, led by Koenig’s 16 points.
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas - Frank Kaminsky scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the second half to help the Badgers pull away in a 69-56 victory over Oklahoma to win the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Friday at Imperial Arena.
Kaminsky was named the tournament most valuable player despite going 1-for-8 shooting against Georgetown and having to sit for the final 14:28 of the second half after picking up his second foul, a nod to just how dominant he was.
Four other players reached double figures for the Badgers (7-0), who missed out on matchups against No.18 Florida and No.5 North Carolina but will make no apologies after winning a pair of physical contests in a little over 25 hours to win a nonconference tournament championship for the second straight season.
Leading by one at halftime, Wisconsin flexed its muscle during a decisive 16-2 run by getting production from all parts of its starting lineup. Sam Dekker hit a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound by Nigel Hayes, Hayes added a jumper and Kaminsky added a 3-point play, his first points of the 14:50 mark of the first half.
Following a layup from Tashawn Thomas, Traevon Jackson (13 points) converted two fast-break layups in transition, forcing the Sooners to burn a timeout to curtail the momentum. It didn’t work.
Never leading by less than nine the rest of the way, Wisconsin finished shooting 43.5 percent from the field, the first time in six games that the Sooners (4-2) let an opponent shoot over 38 percent.
Duje Dukan and Jackson each had 13, Dekker added 11 and Hayes finished with 10 for the Badgers. Dukan did most of his damage in the first half with Kaminsky on the bench, scoring 11 points and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
Without Kaminsky on the floor for the Badgers in the first half, both teams exchanged lengthy runs (a 10-0 UW run followed by a 9-0 Oklahoma run) but UW survived a half that had 11 lead changes and four ties with a 34-33 lead because of Oklahoma’s inability to hang on to the ball.
Wisconsin turned 12 Oklahoma turnovers – eight of which came in the just over 10 minutes - into 15 points into the first half. Sooners committed 21 total turnovers that turned into 27 points for UW.
Averaging 18.2 points per game, Oklahoma junior guard Buddy Hield – a native of Freeport, Bahamas – managed only 9 points on 2-for-11 shooting.
None of the Sooners’ starting lineup surpassed their points per game totals from their previous five games and only one player – Dinjiyl Walker – scored in double figures (10 points), as Oklahoma shot just 29 percent in the second half and 37 percent for the game.
UW has won each of the last 3 meetings, beginning with a 77-66 win in Norman, Oklahoma in 1954. The Badgers also posted a 75-64 win over the Sooners in the 1997 Big Island Invitational (Hilo, Hawaii) and a 69-56 win in the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis championship.
Wisconsin is 22-16 against teams currently in the Big 12, having a winning record against six schools.
Oklahoma is 136-126 against teams currently in the Big 10. The Sooners went 104-83 against former conference school Nebraska.
UW is 38-9 (.809) away from home over the last two seasons (21-3 last season), owning the most road/neutral wins and the best win percentage away from home among major conference teams.
UW is 61-58 (.513) vs. ranked teams under Bo Ryan, having won 20 of its last 29 vs. ranked foes.
Ryan’s teams are 18-31 against AP top-10 teams all-time. That includes a mark of 8-5 against top-10 teams over the last 3 seasons.
The Badgers have won 2 of their last 3 road games against teams ranked in the AP top 10. Wisconsin’s last road win over an AP top-10 team was a 64-59 win at No. 2 Indiana on Jan. 15, 2013. UW also knocked off No. 8 Ohio State, 63-60, on Feb. 26, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.
OU was picked second in this year’s official Big 12 Preseason Poll (released on Oct. 15). The order of finish was picked by the league’s head coaches (they were not allowed to vote on their own team). OU has finished second in the league in back-to-back seasons.
Cousins has started every game the past three seasons (71 combined) and is averaging a career-best 12.0 points a game this season.
On pace to finish in top three in OU history in assists, Woodard owns a career 1.9 assists-to-turnover ratio (4:1 this season).
Shooting .583 (14-24) from the field this season, Spangler is averaging 10.7 points, team-high 8.7 rebounds and 30.3 minutes.
This will be the first of many truly challenging tests for Wisconsin on the road this season, and it looks like it’s going to be a rude wakeup call. Oklahoma returns 75 percent of its scoring, 69 percent of its rebounding and 83 percent of its assists from last season’s NCAA Sweet 16 squad.
Picked to finish second in the Big 12 by league coaches, the Sooners return four starters, including 2015 Big 12 Player of the Year Buddy Hield (averaging 25.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg) and are generating a ton of low-post offense.
But where the Sooners have really been impressive is there defense. Through three games this season, Oklahoma is holding its opponents to .340 shooting (72 of 212) from the field (ranks 14th in the country), including .241 (19 of 79) from 3-point range (ranks 8th nationally). OU’s 35.7 defensive rebounds per game ranks fifth in the country (No. 9 in total rebounds with 48.7 rpg).
Wisconsin has a chance to win these types of games down the road, but I think these young Badgers need to experience this kind of atmosphere before they can truly embrace it. Oklahoma gets revenge for last season’s loss in Atlantis with a 13-point win.
Worgull's Record: 4-2
Points off Prediction: 87 (14.5 per game)