Preview: No.13 Wisconsin at Minnesota

After besting No.11 Indiana to move back into a share of first in the Big Ten conference, No.13 Wisconsin will take the border battle to the hardwood, matching up with the re-engerized Golden Gophers of Minnesota.

No.13 Wisconsin (17-3, 7-1) at Minnesota (13-6, 3-4)

Date/Time - Saturday, Feb. 3 at 1:00 p.m. Central

Arena – Williams Arena (14,625)

Television - Big Ten Network (Matt Devlin, Trent Tucker)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)

Series – Minnesota leads 97-86

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won 75-62 on February 14, 2007 in Minneapolis

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Marcus Landry (Junior Forward, 11.0 ppg - first career double-double vs. Indiana)

3 Trevon Hughes (Sophomore Guard, 13.2 ppg - three straight double-figure shooting games)

22 Michael Flowers (Senior Guard, 9.2 ppg - 10 or more points in five of last seven games)

32 Brian Butch (Senior Forward, 12.9 ppg - 11th career double-double at Purdue)

45 Joe Krabbenhoft (Junior Forward, 7.9 ppg - 2.19 assist-to-turnover ratio)

Off the Bench

12 Jason Bohannon (Sophomore Guard, 6.6 ppg - shooting .833 from free throw line)

30 Jon Leuer (Freshman Forward, 4.9 ppg - did not play against Indiana Thursday)

34 Greg Stiemsma (Senior Center, 3.0 ppg - leads team with 28 blocked shots)

Minnesota Probable Starters

13 Dan Coleman (Senior Forward, 14.1 ppg)

1 Lawrence McKenzie (Senior Guard, 11.3 ppg)

50 Spencer Tollackson (Senior Center, 10.7 ppg)

20 Lawrence Westbrook (Sophomore Guard, 7.5 ppg)

34 Damian Johnson (SophomoreForward, 7.2 ppg)

Off The Bench

24 Blake Hoffarber (Freshman Guard, 9.4 ppg)

0 Al Nolen (Freshman Guard, 4.7 ppg)

33 Jamal Abu-Shamala (Junior Forward, 3.9 ppg)

11 Jonathan Williams (Junior Center, 3.1 ppg)

Last Time Out

Neither team could get its offense going, neither team could get buy a bucket, neither team could break away. In what Indiana basketball coach Kelvin Sampson described as a "very offensively challenged game," Wisconsin was able to hold on to beat the Hoosiers 62-49 Thursday night.

Despite shooting 34.5 percent from the field, the No. 13 Badgers (17-3 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) were able to grind it out to knock the Hoosiers (17-3, 6-1) off of the top of the Big Ten standings and pull into a three-way first place tie in the conference with Michigan State and Purdue.

Indiana didn't fare much better, shooting 33.3 percent in the game, but Hoosiers senior forward D.J. White was able to bully his way to game-highs of 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Junior Marcus Landry registered his first career double-double and Wisconsin held Indiana's Eric Gordon to 5-for-16 shooting.

Series Notes:

This will be the 184th meeting between Wisconsin and Minnesota, making the Golden Gophers UW's most-played rival

Minnesota leads the all-time series 97-86, including 65-29 in Minneapolis

The Badgers have won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the teams, including four of the last five at Williams Arena

Two Badgers are Minnesota natives, junior Kevin Gullikson (Stillwater) and freshman Jon Leuer (Orono)

Wisconsin Notes:

Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the country (according to the Jan. 31 NCAA statistics) in scoring defense (54.5). UW also ranks second in the league in field goal percentage defense (.381).

In their 17 wins this season, the Badgers have limited opponents to 50.9 points on .372 shooting (.295 from 3-point range). Wisconsin limited Indiana to 49 points on Thursday, the Hoosiers' lowest point total of the season. IU entered the game averaging a Big Ten-best 78.6 points per game.

Wisconsin's 17-3 start is tied for the third-best start to a season in school history. The only two UW teams with better records through 20 games were last year's team and the 1915-16 Badgers, both of whom started the season 19-1. Two other teams (1940-41 and 1998-99) started the season 17-3.

After defeating No. 11 Indiana, UW is now 2-2 against teams ranked in the top 15 this season. Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Texas and UCLA are the only teams in the country with two wins over teams currently ranked in the A.P. top 15.

Minnesota Notes:

With the Gophers' 77-65 victory over Michigan Jan. 31, head coach Tubby Smith become a member of the 400 win club. Smith is 400-151 in 17 seasons as a head coach (79-43 at Tulsa, 45-19 at Georgia, 263-83 at Kentucky and 13-6 at Minnesota). Coming into the season, only 20 active coaches had amassed at least 400 career wins.

Freshman Blake Hoffarber not only leads the Big Ten Conference in three-point field accuracy at .473 (44-93), but is on pace to break several school records. He is ahead of the current school record for three-point field goal percentage (.469 by Travarus Bennett in 2001-02) and three-pointers made (78 by Lawrence McKenzie last season).

The Gophers defense was strong through the non-conference portion of the schedule and it has continued into the Big Ten schedule. Through 19 games, the Gophers have averaged 10.5 steals per game, tops in the conference, blocked 4.6 shots per game, fifth in the conference, have averaged 21.9 defensive rebounds per game while holding opponents to 63.1 points per game.

Minnesota's bench has provided a big punch this season, outscoring its opponents in 16 of the team's 19 games. The Gophers hold a cumulative 515-312 bench scoring edge on its foes

At this time last year, the Gophers were 7-12 but that is not the only major difference between the two seasons. Minnesota is averaging 13.1 more points per game this season (73.7-60.6) while allowing 3.1 points less per game (63.1-66.2).

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