February 20, 2010

BREAKDOWN: UW vs. Northwestern

With a road loss against Minnesota lingering in the rearview window, Wisconsin will take to the court yet again this afternoon to try and right the wrongs against a slumping Northwestern squad. With a win, UW would reach the 20-win plateau while keeping a slim hope to clinch a share of the conference title.

Before today's tip-off, BadgerBlitz.com analyzes the potential matchups between Wisconsin and Northwestern to provide a closer look at a late season Big Ten tilt.

Quick Notes:

-Today's meeting will be the 168th contest between Wisconsin and Northwestern. UW has dominated the series with a 106-61 all-time record including a 62-20 mark in Madison.

-The Badgers have won six of the past seven meetings with the Wildcats, including a 10-point victory earlier this season in Evanston.

-Under Bo Ryan, UW is 7-0 at home against Northwestern and have won by an average of 19.7 points per game. NU, who was the Badgers opponent to open the Kohl Center in 1998, has never won in that building.

-At halftime of today's contest, UW will honor the 2000 Final Four team with a video tribute. Dick Bennett and members of the team will be present to celebrate the 10th anniversary of that phenomenal run that spring.

Northwestern vs. Wisconsin
Northwestern Wisconsin Players The Word Advantage
Michael Thompson vs. Trevon Hughes, PG Hughes was a pretty harsh critic of his performance against Minnesota following the loss when he said he was being a "goofball" which led to a "crappy" week of practice. Expect a more focused Hughes tonight against a pesky Thompson. Against NU in his career, Hughes is averaging 13 points, five rebound and 3.3 assists per game. Advantage: Wisconsin
Jeremy Nash vs. Jason Bohannon, SG Bohannon wasn't quite as lethal from the floor against Minnesota as he had been the games leading into it, but he still managed to chip in 18 points. UW hasn't lost back-to-back games this season, and a large part of that has to do with the senior leadership on this team. Look for Bohannon to play that role yet again. Advantage: Wisconsin
Drew Crawford vs. Jordan Taylor SF Crawford is one of the better young players in the entire Big Ten. He is long, rangy and very athletic. When he gets his shot from the perimeter going he becomes very difficult to defend. For UW, Taylor, and potentially Leuer, will need to play solid defense to keep him out of the score book. Advantage: Push
John Shurna vs. Tim Jarmusz PF Jarmusz continues to do the little things for Bo Ryan and those are what keeps him in the lineup. He is a tenacious rebounder and an improving defender. Against Shurna, one of the most improved players in the league, he will get an opportunity to showcase that. Advantage: Northwestern
Luka Mirkovic vs. Keaton Nankivil, C This could potentially be a game where Nankivil asserts himself in the block. Since scoring only six points in the paint at Minnesota, UW has been spending time working the ball into the post in practice. Look for a determined effort from Nankivil against a somewhat undersized Northwestern frontcourt. Advantage: Wisconsin
Kyle Rowley (pictured), Alex Marcotullio, Mike Capocci, Ivan Peljusic, Davide Curletti vs. Jon Leuer (pictured), Rob Wilson, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz, Bench Leuer struggled in his return to game action, but that probably should have been expected. Today, in front of the home crowd, Leuer will have more support. Should he hit a couple of shots early on, he will likely have a big game. I'm not sure who will guard Leuer for Northwestern, but he is a force they haven't had to deal with this season. Advantage: Wisconsin
Bill Carmody vs. Bo Ryan, Head coach Ryan has really not had that many problems against Carmody and Northwestern during his tenure. However, it seems as though every time the Wildcats come to Madison, the Badgers put together a solid outing and cruise to victory. With that being said, and considering UW is coming off a loss, don't be surprised if UW jumps on Northwestern once again at home. Advantage: Wisconsin


Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1:00 p.m. CT


Madison, Wis.


Kohl Center (17,230)


Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris)


Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)


Wisconsin leads 106-61

Last Meeting

UW won 60-50 earlier this season in Evanston.


Wisconsin: USA Today: 16, Assoc. Press: 14

Northwestern: USA Today: N/A, Assoc. Press: N/A

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