Madison, WI – Coming off their first loss of the season, the ranked Wisconsin Badgers seek a quick turnaround, as they welcome the ranked Marquette Golden Eagles to Madison to renew their rivalry at the Kohl Center.
Bo Ryan's Badgers opened the season with six straight routs of their competition, but last time out, the team met its match, falling to fifth- ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill, 60-57 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Buzz Williams' Golden Eagles are in mid-season form already. Marquette has yet to taste defeat, winning its first six games, including an 88-56 blasting of Jacksonville earlier in the week.
The Badgers have won 23 straight non-conference games in the Kohl Center
This game marks the 118th meeting between these two instate rivals in a series that dates back to 1917. Wisconsin holds a 64-53 advantage all-time.
The Golden Eagles have yet to show a real weakness thus far, boasting of a +28.5 scoring margin. Marquette ranks fifth nationally in scoring (88.0 ppg) and fourth in field-goal percentage (.531), while ranking 15th in field-goal percentage defense (.353), while yielding 59.5 ppg. The Golden Eagles are led by a pair of prolific scorers in Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, who are pouring in 19.8 and 19.3 ppg, respectively. Vander Blue provides a complementary scorer at 10.7 ppg. In the recent 32-point win over Jacksonville, Crowder and Johnson-Odom were at it again, combining for 46 points. Crowder hit 9-of-15 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from behind the arc to lead the way with 27 points. Johnson-Odom hit three three-pointers en route to 19 points. Todd Mayo came off the bench to add 14 points, as Marquette hit 58.5 percent of its shots overall, including 9-of-16 from three- point range (.563).
The Badgers have set the bar in terms of defensive play this season. Wisconsin leads the nation in scoring defense (42.1 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.321). Offensively, the team is methodical, averaging 70.7 ppg and doing so on a healthy .473 shooting. The team has really done well from long range, connecting on 44.2 percent of its three-pointers and averaging nearly 11 treys per game. Jared Berggren leads a trio of double-figure scorers at 12.6 ppg. Ben Brust has been great off the bench with 12.3 ppg, while All- American candidate Jordan Taylor adds 12.0 ppg. Taylor is the key to everything though for Wisconsin. One of the top point guards in the country with a 5.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, Taylor is starting to heat up in terms of scoring at 17.0 ppg over the last three games. In the three-point loss to North Carolina, Wisconsin held the Tar Heels to a mere 42.2 percent shooting and well under their season average in scoring. Taylor scored a team-high 18 points in the loss. Berggren added 14 points, while Ryan Evans chipped in with 10.