Preview: No.12 Cornell vs. No.4 Wisconsin

After surviving Wofford in the first round, the Wisconsin men's basketball team will be in for an even bigger test this afternoon in Jacksonville, as the Badgers take on a Cornell team considered to be one of the best Ivy League teams of all-time.

No.4 Wisconsin (24-8, 13-5 Big Ten) vs. No.12 Cornell (28-4, 13-1 Ivy League)

Date/Time - Sunday, March 21, at 1:50 p.m. Central

Arena – Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (14,091)

Television - CBS (Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg)

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

Series – First Meeting

Wisconsin Probable Starters

3 Trevon Hughes (Senior Guard, 15.5 ppg)

11 Jordan Taylor (Sophomore Guard, 10.1 ppg)

12 Jason Bohannon (Senior Guard, 11.4 ppg)

30 Jon Leuer (Junior Forward, 15.0 ppg)

52 Keaton Nankivil (Junior Forward, 8.4 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Ryan Evans (Freshman Forward, 3.3 ppg)

24 Tim Jarmusz (Junior Forward, 2.6 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (Freshman Forward, 1.2 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (Sophomore Forward, 3.2 ppg)

Cornell Probable Starters

1 Jeff Foote (Senior Center 12.4 ppg)

3 Chris Wroblewski (Sophomore Guard, 8.9 ppg)

12 Louis Dale (Senior Guard, 12.2 ppg)

20 Ryan Wittman (Senior Forward, 17.6 ppg)

25 Jon Jacques (Senior Forward, 6.9 ppg)

Off the Bench

5 Errick Peck (Freshman Forward, 3.4 ppg)

11 Max Groebe (Junior Guard, 3.2 ppg)

15 Geoff Reeves (Senior Guard, 5.5 ppg)

33 Alex Tyler (Senior Forward, 3.0 ppg)

Series Notes:

With Friday's win over Wofford, the Badgers are now 21-14 (.600) all-time in the NCAA tournament and have advanced to the second round of the tournament on 10 occassions, including each of the last four seasons.

Head coach Bo Ryan improved his NCAA tournament record to 12-8 in nine appearances. His teams are now 8-1 in opening round games and own an 11-2 record vs. lower seeded teams.

The Badgers will take on No. 12 Cornell. UW is 1-1 all time vs. No. 12 seeds in the NCAA tournament, with a win over Weber State, 81-74, in 2003.

Wisconsin and Cornell have never met, but the Badgers are 17-6 all-time vs. teams from the Ivy League.

Wisconsin is the only current Big Ten team Cornell has never faced.

Wisconsin Notes:

Bo Ryan registered his 600th career win on Friday. He is the 56th member of the 600-win club and is one of just nine active coaches to reach that milestone. Of the nine coaches in that group, Ryan's .766 winning percentage is second only to Roy Williams' mark of .798 (610-154).

Wisconsin seniors Jason Bohannon and Trevon Hughes notched the 105th victories of their careers. That ties the school record, also held by the 2008 senior class of Brian Butch, Michael Flowers, Greg Stiemsma and Tanner Bronson.

Trevon Hughes (15.5 ppg) and Jon Leuer (15.0 ppg) are the first Wisconsin duo to average at least 15 points per game since Michael Finley (20.5) and Rashard Griffith (17.2) in 1994-95.

UW attempted just nine 3-pointers vs. Wofford. The Badgers are now 80-16 all-time under Bo Ryan when shooting fewer than 15 treys in a game, including 6-0 this season.

The Badgers avoided suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season. They remain the lone Big Ten school not to have lost consecutive games this season. They improve to 8-0 following losses.

Cornell Notes:

Already with 28 wins, Cornell would become the Ivy League's all-time winningest team with a victory over Wisconsin, surpassing the 28-1 Penn squad from 1970-71.

Wittman needs six points to become the fifth Ivy League player to reach 2,000 career points.

The Big Red holds a 12-31 all-time record against current members of the Big Ten Conference. Cornell snapped a 39-year stretch without a Big Ten victory when it defeated Northwestern 64-61 on Nov. 10, 2006.

Should Cornell beat Wisconsin, it would give the Big Red consecutive wins over top 25 teams in a span of three days after going 17 years without one at all (4-63 all-time vs. top 25 teams).

Worgull's Prediction

Sorry Wisconsin fans, but I believe the Badgers' road to the final four ends here.

In the opening round win over Temple (the first postseason win in program history), The senior trio of Louis Dale, Jeff Foote and Ryan Wittman combined for 57 of the team's 78 points against Temple as the Big Red shot 56 percent from the floor in the game. Cornell made nine 3-pointers on 39 percent shooting against one of the nation's top teams defending against the three.

None of the bodes well for a Wisconsin team that has not fared well historically in the NCAA Tournament against teams that shoot the three-point bucket well and has not look fluid offensively the last two games.

Moreover, Cornell has set team records for points (2,413), field goals made (864), 3-pointers (313), blocked shots (123) and games played (32). It was this unit the embarrassed the nation's third-best scoring defense in the first round. What do you think they can do against the nation's fourth-best defense today? For one thing, they certainly won't be intimidated.

In order for Wisconsin to win, it has to shoot the ball better (that means Jason Bohannon has to be a factor offensively for the first time in two weeks) and the Badgers have to try to keep Cornell from setting up shop on the perimeter.

After watching Cornell and Wisconsin play in the first round, I am not a big believer in the Badgers right now. They can certainly get the switched flipped, but I think Cornell advances to the Sweet 16 with a 10-point victory.

Worgull's Record: 24-8

Points off Prediction: 336 (10.5 per game)


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