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Wisconsin vs Northwestern: UW Badger Basketball Preview

UW Badger Basketball
Wisconsin vs Northwestern
Thursday 2/21/2010
TV: Big Ten Network
Time: Sunday, 1:00 PM CT
Location: Kohl Center, Madison,WI



1. The Badgers are 19-7 and ranked 16th in the nation this week,Northwestern is not ranked and is 17-9 overall and 6-8 in the conference. The Badgers beat Northwestern 60 to 50 this year on the road, in that game the Badgers needed some hot three point shooting from Trevon Hughes late and a big offensive rebounding margin. The Wildcats have lost to Wisconsin,and Penn State at home and have lost to Ohio State,Minnesota,Michigan State, and Iowa on the road. The Wildcats lost their last game to Penn State 81 to 70.

2. Northwestern will start Michael Thompson and Jeremy Nash at the guards and Luka Mirkovic,John Shurna, and Drew Crawford at the forwards. John Shurna has led Northwestern this year and had 15 points in the last meeting. Shurna averages 17.8 points per game followed by Michael Thompson at 13.5 points per game. Freshman guard Alex Marcotullio is the leader off the bench at 4.8 points per game.

3. The Badgers are looking to win their 12th straight home game against Northwestern and get back on track before the Big Ten tournament.

Badger Game Preview - Fast Break Keys to the Game:
1. The Badgers need to get Jon Leuer integrated back into the offense. In Leuer's first game back against Minnesota the Badgers seemed lost on how they wanted to attack on offense. The Badgers either need to find a way to continue to use dribble drive with Leuer in the game or they need to start being able to effectively pass to Leuer down low, neither happened against Minnesota. In addition Nankivil went missing against the Gophers, hopefully this wasn't because Leuer was back everybody needs to continue to step up their game.

2. The Badgers weren't able to keep Ryan Evans in the game again because he picked up some dumb fouls in the first half and then Bo didn't trust him. The Badgers have a better chance of winning games when Evans and Wilson are contributers, these two need to earn Bo's trust so they can be left on the court. We also feel that Bo needs to let go a little and keep them on the court because in all of the losses their absence on the court seems to play a role in the loss.

3. The Badgers need the senior guards Hughes and Bohannon to continue their strong leadership on the team. Hughes had a very admiral game against the Gophers as you could see he continued to give 110% to try and get the Badgers a win on both ends of the court. Both Hughes and Bohannon are known to be streaky players, they need to finish out their Badger careers on just a hot streak.

Badger Game Preview Prediction:
The Badgers will get back on track with a 60 to 50 win, but will be tested at times. Leuer will start to knock down more of his shots and will finish with 14 points in the game.

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