Following an opening night win over Coppin State, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (1-0) will face a tougher task as they travel to Cincinnati Tuesday to face Xavier (2-0).
The matchup is part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual contest that pits eight Big Ten teams against eight teams from the Big East. The Games have been played since 2015, with the two conferences tying at four wins each all three years.
The game is also a rematch of the 2017 Gavitt Games when the Badgers fell 80–70 to the Musketeers.
Wisconsin will have to pay close attention to Xavier’s 6 foot 9 forward Tyrique Jones who is averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds a game through two games this season.
The likes of Nate Reuvers and Ethan Happ will have their work cut out for them on the defense glass, with Jones’ most recent outing against Evansville (0-2) being a 20 rebound performance that included nine offensive boards.
Jones isn’t the only threat for the Musketeers either, as they have five players averaging double-figure scoring through their first two contests of the season.
For the Badgers, Ethan Happ will once again be a focal point of the offense. Following his historic opening night triple-double, just the second in Wisconsin school history, Happ was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week this past week alongside Purdue’s Carsen Edwards.
Happ has a high usage rate in the Badgers’ offense, something uncharacteristic of a big man, as UW head coach Greg Gard highlighted.
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“He has his hands on the basketball on a lot of possessions,” Gard said. “Ethan’s one of the few guys in college basketball, probably as a big, a guy 6 foot 10 or bigger, that a lot of time touches it every possession.”
The Badgers also shot the ball well from the free throw line and beyond the arc against Coppin State. Shooting 88 percent as a team from the line, and with both D’Mitrik Trice and Brevin Pritzl knocking down more than 50 percent of their three-point attempts, Wisconsin will look to continue that success against Xavier.
Wisconsin will face a tough task traveling to the Cintas Center where Xavier have sold out 20 straight games and haven’t lost a non-conference match in six years, totaling 41 straight victories.
Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. You can catch the action live on FS1 or listen on the Badgers Radio Network.