The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (13-9, 6-5 Big Ten) heads north to the Barn for a Border Battle with the Minnesota Gophers (11-10, 5-6) Wednesday night.
The Badgers are coming off of a colossal win over the No. 14 Michigan State Spartans while playing with only seven scholarship players. The departure of Kobe King from the program and the one-game suspension of Brad Davison left the Badger faithful uneasy about the remainder of the season. But the Badgers proved they are still potential title-contenders within the conference after taking out the first-place Spartans.
The Badgers now have six quadrant-one wins on the season, the fifth-most in the nation. The Badgers have also played 13 quadrant-one games, which is the most in the nation. This proves they have endured a brutal schedule thus far in the season, and their record is representative of that.
Wisconsin’s trip to the Barn will be a homecoming for five of the Badgers on the roster. Both Tyler Wahl and Nate Reuvers came out of Lakeville, Minnesota. Joe Hedstrom is from Hopkins, Minnesota. Junior Brad Davison came to Madison from Maple Grove, Minnesota and Walt McGrory will be in his hometown of Minneapolis for Wednesday night’s matchup.
The Gophers are currently 11-10 on the season after losing three of their last four games. Their only win came in a three-point victory on the road against the Ohio State University.
The Gophers are led by their star center Daniel Oturu, who is averaging a double-double with an impressive 19.7 points per game while grabbing 11.1 rebounds per game. To complement his double-doubles, Oturu is also averaging 2.6 blocks per game.
Oturu is backed up by the prolific guard tandem of Marcus Carr and Gabe Kalscheur. Carr is averaging 15.6 points per game, 6.6 assists per game and 5.6 rebounds per game. His partner in crime, Kalscheur, is scoring 11.7 points per game.
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Minnesota is sitting in a three-way tie for eighth place in the conference with a 5-6 record in Big Ten play. Wisconsin is currently one spot ahead at seventh place in a tight race for the Big Ten crown. Despite being in seventh place, the Badgers are only two games back on Illinois for first place in a top-heavy Big Ten. The Gophers are just three games back.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday night. You can watch live with the Big Ten Network or listen live with the Badger Sports Network.