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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

No. 1 Arizona set to face No. 23 Wisconsin at home

Arizonas+defense+circles+Colgate+as+the+game+starts+nearly+even+in+scoring+on+Dec.+2+in+McKale+Center.+Colgate+finished+the+game+with+only+one+offensive+rebound+coming+at+the+final+buzzer.%0A
Mason Kumet
Arizona’s defense circles Colgate as the game starts nearly even in scoring on Dec. 2 in McKale Center. Colgate finished the game with only one offensive rebound coming at the final buzzer.

The No. 1 Arizona men’s basketball team is set to host the No. 23 University of Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1:15 p.m. in the McKale Center. The Wildcats (7-0), are coming off an 82-55 win over Colgate University on Saturday, Dec. 9 in the McKale Center, which saw Arizona outscore the Raiders by 22 in the second half. Arizona will look to remain undefeated and collect its third top-25 victory of the season when they face the Badgers on Saturday. 

History vs Wisconsin:

Saturday’s matchup will be the eighth meeting between the two programs. Wisconsin currently holds a 5-2 lead in the series. The Wildcats are winless in their three most recent matchups, with two of their most recent losses coming heartbreakingly in the Elite Eight in 2014 and 2015.

Frank Kaminsky and the No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers topped No. 1 Arizona 65-64 in overtime to advance to the Final Four in 2014 before repeating history with a commanding 85-78 victory one year later in the 2015 Elite Eight. 

Wisconsin players to Watch: 

The head coach of Wisconsin, Greg Gard leads the Badgers in his 9th season at the helm. Gard boasts a 171-91 record, leading Wisconsin to five NCAA Tournaments and two Big Ten regular season titles.

The Badgers (7-1) opened the season unranked but have stormed their way into the top 25 after commanding victories over No. 24 University of Virginia, No. 3 Marquette University and Michigan State University within the last three weeks. Wisconsin fell to No. 9 University of Tennessee in its second game of the season but have since won six straight entering their upcoming matchup against Arizona. 

AJ Storr: 

The sophomore guard leads the Badgers in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per game. Storr is coming off a season-high 22 points in Wisconsin’s most recent matchup against the Spartans, Storr was 8-11 from the field and 4-6 from behind the arc. 

Steven Crowl:

The 7’7-foot junior ranks second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game. Crowl has recorded at least 13 points and six rebounds in five of his last six games, including two double-doubles in that stretch. 

Chucky Hepburn:

Hepburn ranks fourth in scoring, averaging 10.1 points per game, but his 3.7 assists are a team-high. Against Michigan State, Hepburn recorded a season-high eight assists, along with five rebounds. The 6’ 2” junior has recorded at least five assists in three of the Badgers’ eight games this season. 

Arizona players to Watch:

The Wildcats rank third in college basketball in scoring, averaging 93.4 points per game and a margin of victory of 30.8 points, ranking second. Additionally, Arizona leads the country with 47.1 rebounds per game. The Wildcats also have five different players averaging double figures, showing the numbers and depth of their team.

Caleb Love:

Love leads the Wildcats in scoring and assists, averaging 13.3 points and 4.4 assists per game. The former University of North Carolina Tar Heel has reached double figures in all but one game this season and has recorded at least three rebounds and three assists in every game this season.  

Keshad Johnson:

The San Diego State University transfer has made quite an impact on the team, ranking second in scoring averaging 12.9 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. Johnson’s progress since last season is undeniable, with marked improvements in both points and rebounds per game. 

Oumar Ballo:

Ballo has been a dominant force in the paint for the Wildcats, the 7’ foot senior is averaging 12.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Although the senior has seen a decline in performance since last season, part of the blame can be attributed to the increase in impactful players on the Wildcats squad. However, Ballo has still delivered double figures in every game this season.


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