Preview: Minnesota at No.15 Wisconsin

Fresh off stealing a win in Bloomington with a banked three pointer, No.15 Wisconsin looks to win with fewer dramatics against border-rival Minnesota.

Minnesota (15-8, 5-6 at No.15 Wisconsin (20-4, 10-2)

Date/Time - Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1:00 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,190)

Television - Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Greg Kelser)

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

Series – Minnesota leads 97-87

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won 63-47 on February 3, 2008 in Minneapolis

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Marcus Landry (Junior Forward, 10.9 ppg - leads UW in scoring in Big Ten games)

3 Trevon Hughes (Sophomore Guard, 12.5 ppg - second in the Big Ten in steals)

22 Michael Flowers (Senior Guard, 9.6 ppg - 15 points, seven rebounds at Indiana)

32 Brian Butch (Senior Forward, 12.7 ppg - game winning three pointer at Indiana)

45 Joe Krabbenhoft (Junior Forward, 7.7 ppg - 8.8 rebounds per game over last five games)

Off the Bench

12 Jason Bohannon (Sophomore Guard, 7.5 ppg - career high 18 points at Indiana)

30 Jon Leuer (Freshman Forward, 4.2 ppg)

34 Greg Stiemsma (Senior Center, 2.9 ppg - leads team with 30 blocked shots)

Minnesota Probable Starters

13 Dan Coleman (Senior Forward, 13.1 ppg)

1 Lawrence McKenzie (Senior Guard, 10.9 ppg)

50 Spencer Tollackson (Senior Center, 10.8 ppg)

20 Lawrence Westbrook (Sophomore Guard, 7.7 ppg)

34 Damian Johnson (Sophomore Forward, 7.3 ppg)

Off The Bench

24 Blake Hoffarber (Freshman Guard, 9.3 ppg)

0 Al Nolen (Freshman Guard, 4.8 ppg)

33 Jamal Abu-Shamala (Junior Forward, 4.0 ppg)

11 Jonathan Williams (Junior Center, 3.0 ppg)

Last Time Out

Senior Brian Butch steps up in the second half, going 6-for-9 from the field for 13 points, including banking in the winning three pointer, to shock conference-foe Indiana 68-66 in Bloomington.

Coming out of a timeout, trailing by one Wisconsin (20-4, 10-2 Big Ten) was set to run a play similar to what they had in late game situations against Texas and Purdue, looking for a guard to go off a Butch screen and see what develops.

When the Indiana defense made it difficult for Michael Flowers to inbound the ball to one of his first few options, Flowers had to force it to Marcus Landry on the left wing.

Landry tried to drive to the hoop, but seeing his path cut off, found Butch back behind the 3-point line to set up the heroics.

The shot was hardly a thing of beauty, but it felt good to Butch as it left his hand.

"You know I really felt I was going to make it, too," Butch said. "It left my hand, and … I thought there was enough (touch) on it to let it go. I didn't think I was going to bank it."

First Meeting:

Setting the pace from Minnesota's opening possession, robbing a pass from Minnesota's Damien Johnson and taking it for an easy layup, Hughes scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, helping the Badgers build a 19-point lead and maintain it, leading UW to a 63-47 road victory.

While efficient shooting the ball from the floor (6-of-11 overall and 2-for-4 from the perimeter) and drawing contact driving to the basket (making 6-of-7 free throws), Hughes was vital in creating offense for his teammates, not just himself.

With Hughes at the point, the Badgers shoot 57.7 percent in the first half and making a season-high seven three-point buckets for the game.

Wisconsin open the game on a 29-10 run, sparred by two big steals by Hughes, with the second one being punctuated with a thunderous dunk on the other end.

Series Notes:

This will be the 185th meeting between Wisconsin and Minnesota, making the Golden Gophers UW's most-played rival

Minnesota leads the all-time series 97-87, but Wisconsin holds a 56-32 edge in games in Madison

The Badgers have won 11 consecutive home games against the Gophers, dating back to 1995

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

Wisconsin Notes:

The win at Indiana gave UW 20 wins for the fifth time in the last six years. Prior to head coach Bo Ryan's arrival in 2001-02, Wisconsin had collected just four 20-win seasons in 103 years.

For the sixth time in Coach Ryan's seven seasons, UW has won at least 10 Big Ten games. In the first 96 years of conference play, the Badgers reached double digits in wins 11 times. Six of those 10-win league campaigns came prior to 1930.

UW has now beaten two top-15 teams on the road this season with last-second 3-pointers. Senior guard Michael Flowers nailed a three with 2.7 seconds remaining to beat Texas, 67-66, on Dec. 29 and senior forward Brian Butch banked in a three with 4.5 seconds left to give UW a 68-66 win over Indiana. Wisconsin is the only team in the country with two road wins over teams currently ranked in the A.P. top 15 this season.

After its victory at Indiana on Wednesday, Wisconsin is now 7-2 on the road this season. Over the past two years, UW has compiled a 14-5 mark in true road games. According to STATS, Inc., that is the fourth-best road record in the country among major conference teams. Only North Carolina (16-4), Kansas (14-4) and Louisville (12-4) have better road winning percentages over that time span.

The Badgers are 5-1 in Big Ten road games this season and 10-4 combined over the last two years. That is tied for the third-best conference road record in the country among BCS conference teams. Only Kansas (10-3) and UCLA (11-4) have better winning percentages.

Minnesota Notes:

Freshman Blake Hoffarber not only has the second highest three-point field accuracy in Big Ten Conference at .469 (53-113), but is on pace to break several school records. He is on pace to break 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).

Minnesota's bench has provided a big punch this season, outscoring its opponents in 18 of the team's 23 games. The Gophers hold a cumulative 598-367 bench scoring edge on its foes including a 30-1 advantage over Iowa State on Nov. 20, a 27-4 advantage over UC Riverside on Dec. 1 and a 41-7 edge over North Dakota State on Dec. 3.

The Gophers defense was strong through the non-conference portion of the schedule and it has continued into the Big Ten schedule. Through 23 games, the Gophers have averaged 10.1 steals per game, tops in the conference, blocked 4.5 shots per game, fifth in the conference, have averaged 21.5 defensive rebounds per game while holding opponents to 63.8 points per game.

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