Preview: No.21 Maryland vs. Wisconsin

After failing to advance to the Maui Invitational finals, the University of Wisconsin has a chance at a big consolation prize. Not only will a Badgers win seal up third place in the talent-filled tournament, but Wisconsin will have knocked off a ranked opponent, as No.21 Maryland stands in its way.

No.21/22 Maryland (4-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. Wisconsin (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Wednesday, November 25, at 3:30 p.m. Central

Arena – Lahaina Civic Center (2,400) - Lahaiana, Hawaii

Television - ESPN2

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

Series – Wisconsin leads 4-2 (1-1 in neutral sites)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 69-64, on Nov. 30, 2004 in Madison.

Wisconsin Probable Starters

3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 14.3 ppg)

12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 9.0 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 3.8 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Junior Forward, 13.3 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 8.8 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 3.8 ppg)

11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 7.3 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 2.0 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 2.8 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (Freshman Center, 0.7 ppg)

Maryland Probable Starters

1 Landon Milbourne (Senior Forward, 13.4 ppg)

5 Eric Hayes (Senior Guard, 11.2 ppg)

14 Sean Mosley (Sophomore Guard, 13.8 ppg)

20 Jordan Williams (Freshman Forward, 7.8 ppg)

21 Greivis Vasquez (Senior Guard, 9.8 ppg)

Off the Bench

22 Adrian Bowie (Junior Guard, 3.6 ppg)

24 Cliff Tucker (Junior Guard, 6.4 ppg)

35 James Padgett (Freshman Forward, 7.8 ppg)

Last Time Out:

Once a tight-knit game midway through the first half, Gonzaga used a 13-1 run over a 5 minute, 12 second span to push the Bulldogs to the EA Sports Maui Invitational finals with a 74-61 victory over Wisconsin at the Lahaina Civic Center.

After the Badgers (3-1) dictated the tempo in the first half against Arizona Monday, Wisconsin came out firing in first 10 minutes, making eight of its first 10 shots until finally cooling off.

The problem was Gonzaga (4-1) never cooled down … ever on Tuesday. With the Bulldogs holding a 19-18 lead, Gonzaga fired off a 13-1 run, as its upperclassmen backcourt took over with six points from junior Steven Gray and three from senior Matt Bouldin.

When it was all said in done, the duo scored a combined 33 points, much better than UW's backcourt, as senior Trevon Hughes (10 points) and Jason Bohannon (seven points, 1-of-7 three-point range) struggled to find a rhythm against the athletic Bulldogs.

Gonzaga bested Wisconsin's first-half shooting percentage of 42.9 (12-of-28) shooting by making 50 percent (15-of-30) of its shots in the first 20 minutes, proving to be a retrospective knockout blow.

After UW limited its first three opponents to 49.6 points per game, the Bulldogs finished with four players in double figures, including 18 points and six rebounds from Bouldin, en route to scoring the most points against a UW opponent in the last 15 games.

Last Meeting:

Alando Tucker and the Wisconsin Badgers wanted to make sure people didn't get the wrong impression about their embarrassing loss at Pepperdine last week.

"This was a statement game," Tucker said Tuesday night after he scored a career-high 27 points to lead No. 25 Wisconsin past No. 12 Maryland 69-64 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. "There were probably a lot of doubts out there that we were a strong team."

Sharif Chambliss added 15 points and Zach Morley had 12 for the Badgers (3-1), who won their 31st straight home game. All of Morley's points came over the final 7:40 and included three free throws in the final 16 seconds.

"I'm pretty excited," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, whose team bounced back from the 75-61 loss to Pepperdine in which it committed 23 turnovers. "I like the way we responded tonight after Saturday's game."

Ekene Ibekwe had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead Maryland (3-1), while Chris McCray added 14 points and Travis Garrison had 11.

But Nik Caner-Medley, Maryland's leading scorer entering the game, was 2-of-9 from the field and finished with seven points.

Series Notes:

The Badgers are now 2-3 all-time in the Maui Invitational and 11-10 in the state of Hawaii. Wisconsin and Maryland have met six times, with four of the meetings coming this decade. The two teams have met three times in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which team team winning on its home court (Maryland in overtime in 03, UW in 04) and UW winning an overtime game in Milwaukee, which turned out to be Dick Bennett's final game as head coach. Maryland also beat UW in the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament on its way to a national championship.

The Badgers also boast a 16-11 all-time mark against teams from the ACC. UW has played Maryland more than any team in the conference and has the most wins against the Terrapins than any other school.

The Badgers next game will also be against an ACC school, as No.7 Duke comes to Madison on December 2.

This marks the fourth trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational for Maryland. The Terrapins having previously played in the Maui event in 1994 (2-1), 2000 (1-2) and 2005 (2-1).

Wisconsin Notes:

Bo Ryan has taken his UW squad to Hawaii on one previous occasion, going 1-2 in the 2001 Big Island Invitational in his first season at the helm. The Badgers opened that season 1-4 but went on to win the Big Ten title.

Sophomore guard Jordan Taylor scored a career-high 19 points against Gonzaga, marking only his second career double-digit game.

Maryland Notes:

The Terps return eight of their top nine players from last season, with Vasquez highlighting that list. As a junior, Vasquez led the Terrapins in points (17.5 ppg), rebounds (5.4 rpg) and assists (5.0 apg).

The Terps were good at holding on to leads down the stretch of games last season – posting an 18-3 record when leading with 5 minutes to play – but they managed only two come-from-behind wins when trailing with 5 minutes to go, going 2-11 in those games.

Maryland has been one of the top programs in the ACC over the past 10 seasons: With 107 victories since 1999, Maryland is 3rd among all ACC schools in regular-season conference wins.

Head coach Gary Williams ranks 2nd among active ACC coaches with 172 career wins in league play, including capturing the 2002 ACC regular-season title, the 2004 ACC Tourney championship and the 2002 national title.

Maryland owns the league's best record in games against Duke and North Carolina over the past 10-plus seasons. The Terps are 20-28 in games against Duke and Carolina since the 1998-99 season... No other ACC team has more than 14 wins against the Blue Devils and Tar Heels in that time.

Worgull's Prediction

Like I said yesterday, the Badgers need to avoid the careless fouls and get Jon Leuer on the floor. They did that so like I said, they should have won by seven. The problem is I didn't account for the early turn around against a well-rested team that was going to shoot the lights out. Oh well, can't win them all.

The glaring stat from last night, points in the paint, which favored Gonzaga 42-18. That number needs to improve against a small Maryland team, as the Terps biggest starter is 6-9. UW needs to be more aggressive in the paint and play better transition defense, as the Zags also had an 11-0 edge in fast-break points.

This is an important game for Wisconsin. Win and you leave Maui with a third-place surfboard and have some momentum heading into Duke week. Lose, and it could be an even bigger challenge.

This was the one game I was hoping I wouldn't have to pick because I have no clue about this Maryland team. They've played four cupcakes before getting crushed on the boards against Cincinnati. Both teams are going to be on fumes, so it's going to come down to bench play, which favors UW. The Badgers missed a lot of open looks last night, so that has to change today, right? UW by six in a coin-flip slugfest.

Worgull's Record: 2-2

Points off Prediction: 38

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