The No. 9 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will travel to Omaha, Nebraska for their first top 25 matchup of the year against No. 22 Creighton University Tuesday for a non-conference matchup that should provide some clarity into how deserving the Badgers are of their top 10 preseason ranking.
UW is coming off of a balanced display in their season opening win over Central Arkansas University Friday, a game in which the Badgers took 29 threes and didn’t separate from the Bears until late in the first half.
Wisconsin returns 99.8 percent of its production from a squad that fell just one bucket short of a quarterfinal appearance in the NCAA tournament a year ago, a feat that earned them their preseason ranking and makes them clear favorites over the young Blue Jays.
Men’s basketball: Why you need to get over Wisconsin’s heartbreaking defeatIt goes without saying that Badger fans were heartbroken following the team’s heartbreaking 61-56 loss Friday in the Sweet 16 Read…
Despite their depth in the key positions, the Badgers’ youth will be a big headline to watch as they enter their first hostile environment in Omaha. True freshman point guard D’Mitrik Trice decided late last week that he would play his freshman season. He turned a few heads against Central Arkansas with two back-to-back threes in the slim six minutes that he played in the first half.
Head coach Greg Gard was pleased in his post game press conference and said he believes Trice will be a valuable contribution to the team. Trice should remain behind senior point guard Bronson Koenig, who came out as expected against CAU and put up 16 points in a very clean performance next to his fellow senior standout, Nigel Hayes, who posted 14.
Even with the strong play in the opener, the Badgers will face their first true test this week in one of the more underrated environments in college basketball. After losing 2014’s player-of-the-year Doug McDermott before last season, the Blue Jays remained a consistent member of the top 25 and finished the year in the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament.
Creighton is also coming off a win in their season opener, pulling out a nail-bitter against University of Missouri-Kansas City 89-82 Friday. For a team with more freshmen than any other class, however, there is a significant learning curve they will have to overcome.
Men’s basketball: Badgers win emotional duel of the Gards in exhibition match with UW-PlattevilleHead coach Greg Gard and the No. 10 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team opened up their 2016-17 season against Read…
While the Badgers are favored on paper, no early game between two top 25 teams is ever easy to predict, and Wisconsin will have to impose their experience to come out of Omaha with a win. The Blue Jays will be looking for a solid resume builder for the NCAA tournament, and the Badgers will hope to uphold their ranking and keep pace behind No. 6 Indiana University in the Big Ten.
The game tips at 7:30 p.m. CT Tuesday as part of the Gavitt Tip-off Games series and will air on Fox Sports 1 in Omaha.