The Badgers' schedule is highlighted by a pair of 2009 NCAA tournament teams, Duke and Marquette, invading the Kohl Center. The Badgers could also face up to three additional tournament teams at the challenging Maui Invitational.
"This year's schedule is a great mixture of teams from different parts of the country and teams from different leagues," associate head coach Greg Gard said. "Obviously we'll see some of the best competition in the country at the Maui Invitational and we're looking forward to having Duke and Marquette come to the Kohl Center."
UW begins the season with a pair of exhibition games, vs. Bemidji State on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and against UW-Superior on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
The Badgers' non-conference slate then tips-off with consecutive games at the Kohl Center vs. Summit League competition. On Sunday, Nov. 15 Wisconsin takes on IPFW and then hosts Oakland on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Oakland posted a 23-13 record last season, its third-straight winning campaign.
Wisconsin will then travel to the Maui Invitational from Nov. 23-25. One of college basketball's most competitive preseason tournaments, this year's Maui field is no different. Wisconsin will be joined by 2009 NCAA tournament teams Arizona, Gonzaga and Maryland along with Cincinnati, Colorado, Vanderbilt and host Chaminade. The Badgers last visited Hawaii in 2001, head coach Bo Ryan's first season at Wisconsin, posting a 1-2 record in the Big Island Invitational. Wisconsin hasn't appeared in the Maui Invitational since 1995.
The schedule gets no easier following the Maui Invitational as Wisconsin hosts Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Wisconsin is 4-6 all-time in the Challenge, but owns a 2-1 home record in the event. Duke, meanwhile, is a perfect 10-0 in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games, including a win over the Badgers in 2007.
The Badgers will take on Grambling State on Saturday, Dec. 5 before playing their only true road game of the non-conference schedule when they travel to Green Bay on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Wisconsin is a perfect 15-0 all-time vs. the Phoenix, including two road wins at Green Bay. The non-conference schedule continues with another in-state rival as Marquette comes to the Kohl Center on Saturday, Dec. 12. UW leads the all-time series with the Golden Eagles, 62-53, but the two schools have split the last eight meetings.
Cal-Poly of the Big West conference plays in Madison on Wednesday, Dec. 16, before an intrastate showdown against former UW assistant Rob Jeter and the Milwaukee Panthers on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at the Kohl Center. The 2009 non-conference schedule then wraps up at home against Illinois-Chicago on Sunday, Dec. 27.
"We should see different styles of play in the non-conference and our schedule gives our fans a chance to see us at home quite a bit," Gard added. "Setting up the schedule is always like a puzzle, trying to fit games into dates that are open for both Wisconsin and an opponent. This schedule should set us up well to get experience for our young guys and prepare us for what looks to be a rigorous schedule."
Wisconsin's 2009 Non-conference Schedule
Wed. Nov. 4 BEMIDJI STATE (exhib.)
Wed. Nov. 11 UW-SUPERIOR (exhib.)
Sun. Nov. 15 IPFW
Wed. Nov. 18 OAKLAND
M-W Nov. 23-25 vs. TBA (Arizona, Chaminade, Cincinnati, Colorado, Gonzaga, Maryland or Vanderbilt)
Wed. Dec. 2 DUKE (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Sat. Dec. 5 GRAMBLING STATE
Wed. Dec. 9 at Green Bay
Sat. Dec. 12 MARQUETTE
Wed. Dec. 16 CAL-POLY
Wed. Dec. 23 MILWAUKEE
Sun. Dec. 27 ILLINOIS-CHICAGO