When: Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004, 6:00 p.m. CT
Site: Kohl Center (17,142), Madison, Wis.
Broadcasts: ESPN, Wisconsin Radio Network
Series Notes: Ohio State leads all-time series 80-57
Fresh off their second conference road victory of the season, No. 14 Wisconsin is back in action Saturday to host a revenge-minded Ohio State team.
Playing through injuries and off court issues has been the style of the Badgers, who regained sole possession of first place in the Big Ten after their win at Iowa last Wednesday.
Having already played the Buckeyes this season, the Badgers know what to expect and where to focus their defensive efforts.
"There bigs really posted real hard and they got some pretty good looks and they hit the offensive boards pretty good too," junior guard Clayton Hanson said. "So, that's something we try to limit every game and some games we're more successful than others, so we have to keep on track and keep doing that."
Wisconsin will also put a focus on getting the ball inside.
"We have to keep doing the same thing and offensively we have to keep working it inside, something we stressed a lot against Iowa there in the first half," Hanson added. "So just keep building off that."
The first time the two teams met this season, UW used a 21-5 run spanning the end of the first and into the beginning of the second half to pull away and nab their first conference road victory of the season. UW has been 2-1 since then.
For Ohio State followed the loss with a couple big wins versus Purdue and Northwestern before losing to Michigan State last week. For them to come away with a nearly impossible win, they'll need to stop a team that has two starters back and ready to play.
"We can't really worry about the last win we just got," senior guard Freddie Owens said. "You see teams knocking other teams off every week in the Big Ten. We are not going to take these guys lightly, even though we beat them the first time. We know what they are capable of and we are going to prepare for them like any other team."
Wait and see
Ryan stated after Friday's practice that he was not sure who would start against Ohio State. There is a possibility that sophomore center Andreas Helmigk, who lost his starting spot in favor of junior guard Clayton Hanson when the Badgers faced Iowa this week, could return to the lineup. Sophomore guard Boo Wade could also crack the top five.
The matchup to watch in this game will be the Ohio State defense versus UW junior guard Devin Harris. The last time the two teams met Harris dropped 29 points on 9 of 12 shooting. The Buckeyes' success is contingent on stopping Harris and making the rest of the Badgers beat them.
By the Numbers:
.667 – UW junior forward Mike Wilkinson's shooting percentage in the last five games.
20.1 – The Badgers' average margin of victory during their 25-game home winning streak.
0 – UW losses this season when televised by ESPN.
14.9 – Number of turnovers per game for Ohio State.
3.9 – Ohio State has a +3.9 rebounding margin versus opponents this season.
.334 – The Buckeyes are shooting 33.4 percent from 3-point territory, just slightly better than UW's 32.7 percent.