The No. 12 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (4-1, 0-0 Big Ten) was again forced to shuffle their schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This time, the Badgers canceled their Dec. 17 game against Northern Iowa following the Panthers’ decision to pause all basketball activities until after the holiday season. The Badgers moved quickly after the cancellation, scheduling this week’s Dec. 15 game against the Loyola Chicago Ramblers (3-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley) at the Kohl Center.

The Ramblers shocked the college basketball world in 2018. Loyola entered the 2017-18 NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed, but with balanced scoring and a stifling defense, Loyola reached their first men’s basketball Final Four since 1963. Cheered on by 101-year-old Sister Jean, the Ramblers have become one of college basketball’s Cinderella sweethearts.

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The Ramblers will come into Tuesday’s matchup undefeated, and they have won all three of their games by double-digits. Though Loyola still hasn’t played a power-five conference team, the Ramblers proved in their lopsided past three victories that they will be no pushover Tuesday night.

One key player from Loyola’s Final Four squad is star center Cameron Krutwig. The six-foot-nine-inch senior from Algonquin, Illinois is a four-year starter who brings experience and skill to the Ramblers’ offensive attack. Krutwig was last season’s Missouri Valley Player of the Year runner-up and has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s First Team in his last two seasons. Krutwig hopes to bring the Ramblers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their magical Final Four run. 

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A player to watch for Wisconsin will be senior forward Aleem Ford. The six-foot-eight-inch senior has struggled to start his 2020-21 campaign — only shooting 39% from the floor and 66.7% from the foul line. Ford is coming off one of his best games of the season last week against Rhode Island after scoring an efficient 11 points on 50% shooting. Hopefully Ford’s stellar game last week will be a sign of things to come for a Badgers team that has Final Four aspirations. 

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Tip-off for tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on the Big Ten Network. The Badgers are undefeated at home this season and have won 12 straight home games dating back to last season.