Men's basketball in brief

Wisconsin and Illinois tip off at 1:32 p.m.

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What:  Illinois (12-4 overall, 3-2 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (12-3, 3-1)

When:  Saturday, January 24, 2004, 1:32 p.m. CST

Site:  Kohl Center (17,142), Madison, WI

Broadcasts:  ESPN Regional (WISC in Madison), Wisconsin Radio Network

Series Notes: Illinois leads all-time series 101-66


Injuries to key players have not stopped Wisconsin.


Most recently, junior guard Clayton Hanson stepped up to score a career-high 17 points to propel the Badgers to a victory over Michigan last Wednesday.


With injuries to starters senior guard Freddie Owens and sophomore forward Alando Tucker, Wisconsin used the depth and versatility of its bench to pull off a come-from-behind win at home and extend its home winning streak to a Big Ten-best 23 games.


"That's what makes a team a champion or gives them a chance to compete," first-year Illinois head coach Bruce Weber acknowledged. "When you have the injury here or there or when you have somebody in a little big of a funk, somebody else steps up and makes the plays and does the things that you need to win."


After losing to Purdue and Northwestern, Illinois came back with two straight wins, including a huge 80-37 victory over Penn State


The game will match strength on strength. Illinois is currently leading the conference in scoring with 76.9 points per game. Wisconsin, meanwhile, allows a league-low 55.9 points per game. It will not be surprising if this one comes down to the wire. In fact, six of the last seven games between the two teams have been decided by six points or less.


Key Matchup


The two preseason conference players of the year, Illinois sophomore guard Dee Brown and Wisconsin junior guard Devin Harris will provide the most intriguing matchup of the game. Both players lead their teams in points and assists.


Wisconsin-Illinois by the numbers


13.7, 12.8 – The respective positive scoring margins this season for Wisconsin and Illinois, respectively, the top marks in the Big Ten.


7.2 – Wisconsin's average advantage in free throws made per contest.


 0 – The number of UW losses this season when leading at the half.


+5.3 – Wisconsin's conference-best turnover margin


18.1 – Illinois' league-leading average assists per game


6.6 – average number of 3-point field goals made by Illinois per contest.


+5.8, +4.1 – rebounding margin for Illinois and Wisconsin, second and third in the conference respectively.


Probable Starters


Wisconsin Ht Yr Pos PPG RPG APG
Devin Harris 6-3 Jr. G 16.0 4.5 5.2
Boo Wade 6-3 So. G 7.1 3.5 2.7
Andreas Helmigk 6-9 So. C 3.8 1.9 0.7
Mike Wilkinson 6-8 Jr. F 11.3 7.1 2.0
Zach Morley 6-8 Jr. F 9.3 5.9 2.0

Illinois Ht Yr Pos PPG RPG APG
Dee Brown 6-0 So. G 12.8 3.6 5.1
Deron Williams 6-3 So. G 12.7 3.2 6.1
James Augustine 6-10 So. F 11.2 9.3 0.8
Roger Powell 6-6 Jr. F 12.8 4.9 0.8
Luther Head 6-3 Jr. G 9.5 2.9 1.7

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