Date/Time - Friday, March 12, at 1:30 p.m. Central
Arena – Conseco Fieldhouse (18,345)
Television - ESPN (Dave O'Brien and Steve Lavin)
Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)
Series – Wisconsin Leads 108-75 (UI Leads 67-19 in Champaign)
Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 72-57, in Champaign, March 7, 2010
Wisconsin Probable Starters
3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 15.4 ppg)
11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 10.2 ppg)
12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 12.0 ppg)
30 Jon Leuer (Junior Forward, 14.9 ppg)
52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 8.7 ppg)
Off the Bench
5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 3.3 ppg)
24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 2.8 ppg)
31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.2 ppg)
33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 3.3 ppg)
Illinois Probable Starters
1 D.J. Richardson (Freshman Guard, 10.3 ppg)
24 Mike Davis (Junior Forward, 10.3 ppg)
30 Bill Cole (Junior Forward, 4.6 ppg)
32 Demetri McCamey (Junior Guard, 14.9 ppg)
54 Mike Tisdale (Junior Center, 11.6 ppg)
Off the Bench
3 Brandon Paul (Freshman Guard, 8.1 ppg)
13 Jeff Jordan (Junior Guard, 1.4 ppg)
23 Dominique Keller (Senior Forward, 4.7 ppg)
42 Tyler Griffey (Freshman Forward, 3.0 ppg)
Last Meeting/Last Time Out:
Despite foul trouble and sporadic work from Leuer and Hughes in the second half, No.15 Wisconsin avenged its only home loss of the season by getting 20 points from Leuer and Taylor, not to mention the first career double-double from Hughes, in a 72-57 season-ending victory over Illinois in Assembly Hall.
With Hughes in foul trouble for most of the second frame, Taylor locked down the point guard position; scoring 12 points down the stretch that included a key bucket with the shot clock ready to expire that put the Badgers up 10 with under 3 minutes, 29 seconds remaining.
The success was twofold, as Taylor also limited Illinois leading scorer McCamey to only one second half field goal, forcing Tisdale (team-high 16 points) to carry the offense. After scoring 27 points in the team's first meeting, McCamey was held to 11 points on just 2-of-8 shooting.
Leuer, who was sidelined in the team's first match-up due to a broken bone in his left wrist, was careless on a couple fouls that bought him a seat on the bench, but made up for it with his work in the block. Leuer's size freed up second-chance opportunities for his teammates, as the Badgers got five offensive rebounds on their first nine possessions and 17 overall.
At the finish, Wisconsin out scored Illinois 24-8 in the paint, 16-11 on second-chance points and out-rebounded the home team 40-30.
Hughes, who struggled with his shot (4-of-12), managed to score 14 points (11 in the second half) that went along with 11 rebounds (7 offensive) and no turnovers.
UW has won seven of the last nine meetings between the teams
Wisconsin is 3-2 vs. Illinois in the Big Ten tournament.
The Badgers and Illini last met in the Big Ten tournament in the 2008 tournament championship game, when UW pulled out a 61-48 win.
Once before has UW played the same team in the regular-season finale and its first tournament game, beating Michigan State in back-to back games on March 3 and March 9, 2007.
This is the 10th-straight season that UW has earned a first-round bye, the longest streak in the conference. In nine seasons under Bo Ryan, the Badgers have never finished lower than fourth in the conference standings. Ryan's teams are 10-6 in the conference tourney.
Wisconsin has won four straight, including three in a row with its current starting lineup. UW has out-scored its opponents by an average of 24.7 points per game in those three wins.
In the 11 games without Jon Leuer in the starting lineup, the Badgers averaged 25.7 3-point attempts per game. In the three games since Leuer has returned as a starter, UW's 3-point attempts have dipped to 13.7 per game.
All five of Wisconsin's starters have registered a 20-point game this season. The fivesome has combined for 19 such outings, including seven from Hughes and five from Leuer.
Wisconsin finished with 13 Big Ten wins for the third time in the past four seasons, having also won 13 games in 2007 and claiming 16 conference wins in 2008. Those three 13-win Big Ten seasons are the only three in school history.
Wisconsin has played in the championship game in four of the last six Big Ten tournaments, winning the title twice (2004 & 2008). UW is one of five teams (with ILL, IOWA, MSU & OSU) to win two Big Ten tournament titles. No school has won three championships.
Illinois is a wreck and that is obvious from the way Bruce Weber and Demetri McCamey interacted with each other on Sunday. The Badgers' shutdown defense on McCamey pushed him to the boiling point, and the disrespect he showed to Weber shows that he checks out when you frustrate him. Wisconsin on a neutral court should be able to handle that without a sweat.
Tisdale is banged up with his Achilles problem, McCamey looks frustrating after losing five of their last six and the Illini don't look like a tournament team. Wisconsin on the other hand is clicking on all cylinders from its starting lineup down into its bench.
The Badgers should win by 14, giving Bo win No. 600 and set up the first healthy match-up between them and the Buckeyes.
Worgull's Record: 23-7
Points off Prediction: 315 (10.5 per game)