Preview: No.10 Wisconsin at. Illinois

With Indiana beating Purdue Tuesday night, No.10 Wisconsin finds itself back in first place in the Big Ten conference. The question is, can the Badgers stay there after taking on the Fighting Illini?

No.10 Wisconsin (21-4, 11-2) vs. Illinois (11-15, 3-10)

Date/Time - Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8:00 p.m. Central

Arena – Assembly Hall (16,618)

Television - Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Jim Jackson)

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

Series – Illinois leads 106-71

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won 70-60 on January 10, 2008 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

1 Marcus Landry (Junior Forward, 11.0 ppg - leads UW in scoring in Big Ten games)

3 Trevon Hughes (Sophomore Guard, 12.4 ppg - second in the Big Ten in steals, 20 points against Minnesota)

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

32 Brian Butch (Senior Forward, 12.6 ppg - game winning three pointer at Indiana)

45 Joe Krabbenhoft (Junior Forward, 7.6 ppg - seventh in Big Ten in rebounding)

Off the Bench

12 Jason Bohannon (Sophomore Guard, 7.6 ppg - averaging 14.3 ppg over last three games)

30 Jon Leuer (Freshman Forward, 4.1 ppg)

34 Greg Stiemsma (Senior Center, 2.8 ppg - leads team with 30 blocked shots)

Illinois Probable Starters

1 Trent Meacham (Junior Guard, 10.6 ppg)

3 Chester Frazier (Junior Guard, 4.7 ppg)

32 Demetri McCamey (Freshman Guard, 7.6 ppg)

42 Brian Randle (Senior Forward, 9.9 ppg)

55 Shaun Pruitt (Senior Center, 12.6 ppg)

Off the Bench

25 Calvin Brock (Junior Guard, 7.3 ppg)

23 Rodney Alexander (Junior Forward, 5.2 ppg)

54 Mike Tisdale (Freshman Center, 4.3 ppg)

Last Time Out

It was also a well-rounded game offensively for Wisconsin — one that Ryan felt was reminiscent of his 1998 national title team at UW-Platteville that had nine players score between seven and 13 points per game.

Landry led Wisconsin with 12 points and Bohannon, Butch, Hughes and Flowers all chipped in with 11, as the Badgers bested border-rival Minnesota 65-56.

Free throws in the second half helped the Badgers stay in the game and then their 7-0 run in the final six minutes put it away.

First Meeting:

After shooting just 2-for-7 from three-point range in the first half and Illinois cutting the lead from 10 to only three with just over eight minutes left in the contest, the Badger back court got the message and, for the time being, found the shooting touch.

Wide open in front of the Badger bench, sophomore Jason Bohannon, who had missed six of his last seven three attempts, drained the bucket to give the Badgers (13-2, 3-0) some breathing room. Followed by a steal by Hughes on the defensive end, Trevon wasted no time in completing the play by knocking down a three of his own from the top of the key.

Suddenly, a slim 44-41 lead swelled to a comfortable nine-point working margin and Illinois never threatened again, as Wisconsin beat Illinois for the first time in Madison since 2004 by the score of 70-60.

Series Notes:

This will be the 178th meeting between Wisconsin and Illinois with the series dating back to 1906

Illinois leads the all-time series 106-71, including 66- 18 in Champaign

UW has won the last three meetings between the teams

The Badgers' 71-64 win at Illinois last year was their first at Assembly Hall since 1997

UW and Illinois rank 1-2 in the Big Ten in conference victories over the last seven.

Wisconsin Notes:

Five Badgers (Landry, Butch, Hughes, Flowers and Bohannon) scored in double figures in UW's win over Minnesota. That is the first time Wisconsin has had five players in double figures since Feb. 2, 2005 when Butch, Kammron Taylor, Mike Wilkinson, Clayton Hanson and Sharif Chambliss led UW to a 73-58 win over Northwestern. UW is the only team in the Big Ten with four players averaging at least 10.0 points per game in league play.

Wisconsin is 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 fi fth-best road record in the country among major conference teams. Only North Carolina (16-4), Kansas (14-4), Louisville (13-4) and Washington State (17-6) have better road winning percentages over that time span.

After shooting 66.0 percent from the free throw line during the non-conference season, UW ranks third in the Big Ten in free throw percentage during league games (.740). Sophomore Jason Bohannon, who has made 28 consecutive free throws (tied for the third-longest streak in school history), is third in the Big Ten in FT percentage during league games (.944).

The Badgers lead the Big Ten in scoring margin in league play at +8.9. Seven of their 11 conference wins have been by at least 10 points.

Illinois Notes:

The Illini have scored at least 70 points in each of their last four home games. Illinois is averaging 74.8 ppg on 49.3 percent shooting (104-211) over its last four appearances at the Assembly Hall.

Illinois' three Big Ten wins have each been by 18 or more points. Illinois' average margin of victory in conference wins is 25.0 ppg.

Nine of Illinois' 10 Big Ten losses have been by 10 points or less. Illinois' average margin of defeat in conferences losses is 6.8 ppg.

Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season (Brian Randle-8, Trent Meacham-7, Shaun Pruitt-6, Calvin Brock-3, Rodney Alexander-2, Mike Tisdale-2, Demetri McCamey-2, Chester Frazier-1).

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