February 9, 2010

Breakdown: UW against Illinois

Last week Wisconsin and Illinois each did their part in tightening the Big Ten race with wins over Michigan State. Now, with seven games remaining for both the Badgers and Illini, tonight's game will prove to be critical in the newly tightened Big Ten championship race.

Before tonight's tip-off, BadgerBlitz.com analyzes the potential matchups between Wisconsin and Illinois to provide a closer look at the critical Big Ten tilt.

Quick Notes:

-Tonight's game will be the 182nd meeting between the two schools in a series that began in 1906. Illinois leads the all-time series with a 107-74 edge, but the Badgers have compiled a 52-38 home record against the Illini during the series.

-Wisconsin has won six of the past seven meetings between the teams, including a three-game sweep in 2008 and a season split in 2009.

-The Badgers have won seven of their last nine meetings with Illinois at the Kohl Center.

-Over the past nine seasons, Wisconsin (102) and Illinois (94) rank first and third in the Big Ten in conference victories.

Illinois vs. Wisconsin
Illinois Wisconsin Players The Word Advantage
Demetri McCamey vs. Trevon Hughes, PG The nice thing about the development of Hughes as a player is his recognition when things are necessarily going well for him. Against Michigan State, early foul trouble sidetracked his flow of the game. In the second half, when it seemed like Hughes was forcing the issue too much, he cooly stepped back and started distributing the ball. Seven assists and a Badger win later, Hughes will get back on track today against Michigan. Advantage: Wisconsin
D.J. Richardson vs. Jason Bohannon, SG WIth one more three-point attempt and one more three-point make, Bohannon will move into the top five in school history in both threes attempted and threes made. And following an impressive 19-point effort against MSU, it seems Bohannon has plenty of momentum riding in his favor. Advantage: Wisconsin
Bill Cole vs. Jordan Taylor G Not many players across the league hustle as much as Novak does for the Wolverines, so that will keep Taylor on his toes throughout the contest. If the Badger sophomore can hit some shots early, he could really open a lane into Michigan's zone and create opportunities for the Badgers. Advantage: Wisconsin
Tyler Griffey vs. Tim Jarmusz G/F Though Jarmusz doesn't contribute much offensively, he plays his role to a tee on the defensive side of the ball and on the boards. Last time, he held Manny Harris to only 11 points and made it rough on the Wolverine star throughout the game. Jarmusz will certainly be up to the challenge, but stopping Harris twice is easier said than done. Advantage: Michigan
Mike Tisdale vs. Keaton Nankivil, C Since Leuer has been sidelined with his wrist injury, Nankivil has really emerged as a legitimate scoring threat for a Wisconsin front court that desperately needed it. Against Sims, this could be the matchup that makes or breaks the contest. Nankivil will need to be assertive inside and have a soft touch from the perimeter. With four straight double-digit games it seems as though Nankivil has some scoring confidence on his side. Advantage: Push
Brandon Paul (pictured), Mike Davis, Dominique Keller, Richard Semrau and Jeff Jordan vs. Ryan Evans (pictured), Rob Wilson, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz, Bench With the emergence of Rob Wilson coming off the bench, it seems as though Wisconsin has found a legitimate scoring threat to replace what was lost when Taylor was moved to the starting lineup. If that bench production continues from the sophomore, UW will be in good shape to claim another victory. Advantage: Wisconsin
Bruce Weber vs. Bo Ryan, Head coach Simply put, Beilein has never beaten a Bo Ryan coached team. And for whatever reason, it seems like UW has had an easier go of things in Ann Arbor against Michigan that it does at the Kohl Center, at least in recent memory. Advantage: Wisconsin


Saturday, Feb. 6 at 3:00 p.m. CT


Ann Arbor, Mich.


Crisler Arena (13,751)


CBS (Kevin Harlan and Bill Raftery)


Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)


Michigan leads 86-64

Last Meeting

Wisconsin won won 54-48 in Madison on Jan. 20, 2010.


Wisconsin: USA Today: 16, Assoc. Press: 16

Ohio State: USA Today: N/A, Assoc. Press: N/A

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