Badger Sports Roundup: The weekend in preview

A backloaded, but rather full, week in Wisconsin athletics with postseason action beginning in men's basketball, men's and women's hockey and NCAA competition for track and diving

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Men's basketball: Wisconsin in Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Field House in Indianapolis, Ind.


The Badgers are the No. 2 seed after finishing just one game, or two more Ohio State points, away from tying for a third consecutive Big Ten title. Wisconsin will face the winner of No. 7 seed Purdue and No. 10 seed Minnesota in a conference quarterfinal Friday at 5:40 p.m. CST (televised on ESPN Plus, UPN 14 in Madison). The tournament begins Thursday and concludes with the championship game Sunday at 2:30 p.m.


Team leaders (per game averages)

Points: Devin Harris, 19.3

Assists: Harris, 4.5

Rebounds: Mike Wilkinson, 7.1

Blocks: Wilkinson, 1.2

Steals: Harris, 1.8


Men's hockey: Wisconsin v. Alaska-Anchorage, WCHA first round playoffs, Friday, March 12, Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 (if necessary), 7:05 p.m. at the Kohl Center. UPN will televise series (Friday's game will be joined in progress following basketball game). WIBA-AM handles radio broadcast.


Wisconsin looks to rebound from a poor showing in the final series of the regular season against Minnesota-Duluth. After finishing third in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, the Badgers host the Seawolves, who they faced on the road just two weeks ago.


Team Leaders

Points: Rene Bourque, 33

Goals: Ryan MacMurchy, Robbie Earl, Bourque 14

Assists: Bourque, 19

Goaltending: Bernd Bruckler - 2.15 goals against average, .924 save percentage, 17-7-8; Brian Elliott – 2.14, .912, 3-3-0.


Men's and women's track: NCAA Indoor Championships, Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13 in Fayetteville, Ark.


The Badger women send distance runner Hilary Edmondson while the men's team sends eight to the national meet, hosted by the University of Arkansas. (see related story).


Women's hockey: Wisconsin in WCHA Final Five at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. Semifinal Saturday, March 13 v. Minnesota-Duluth at 1:05 p.m. Winner plays in conference championship game - Sunday, March 14 at 4:05 p.m.


The Badgers have won six straight games and are 20-2-3 in their last 25 games. Yet they are ranked No. 5 in the country and, at the present juncture, are on the outside looking in for the four-team NCAA tournament. A win Saturday over defending national champion and sixth-rated Minnesota-Duluth would do wonders for Wisconsin's chances. With a win, the Badgers would likely face No. 1 Minnesota for the WCHA tournament crown. Winning the Final Five championship after finishing second in the regular season would virtually assure the team's first ever trip to the Frozen Four.


Team Leaders

Points: Sara Bauer, 31

Goals: Lindsay Macy 16

Assists: Bauer, 24

Goaltending: Christine Dufour, 1.49 goals against average, .914 save percentage, 12-2-1; Meghan Horras, 1.13, .943, 11-3-2


Men's and women's Diving: Wisconsin at NCAA Zone C Qualifying in Bloomington, Ind., Thursday, March 11 through Sunday, March 14.


Softball: Wisconsin in National Invitational Tournament in San Jose, Calif., Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 14


The Badgers (11-5) will face Syracuse (5-11) and San Jose State (2-13) in pool competition Friday, then will be placed in a bracket for tournament competition Saturday and Sunday.


Batting Leaders

Hits: Kris Zacher, 22 (.407 average)

RBI: Boo Gillette, 14

Runs: Zacher, 13

HR: Diana Consolmagno, 2


Pitching Leaders

Wins: Eden Brock and Katie Layne, 5

IP: Brock, 53.2

ERA: Brock, 0.78


Men's golf: Wisconsin at Big Red Classic in Ocala, Fla., Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14


Tournament competitors will play 36 holes Saturday and 18 holes Sunday.

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