FACTS & STATS: Site: Kohl Center (17,230) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television:
Big Ten Network. Home Record: Cal 2-0, UW 3-1. Away Record: Cal 1-0, UW 0-1.
Neutral Record: Cal 3-0, UW 1-1. Conference Record: Cal 0-0, UW 0-0. Series
Record: California leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: The California Golden Bears put their perfect record on the line
as they visit the Wisconsin Badgers for a non-conference tilt at the Kohl
Center on Sunday.
The Golden Bears took home the title from the DirecTV Classic Tournament in
Anaheim on Nov. 25 by completing a 78-58 rout of Pacific in the championship
game. California is one of the most impressive teams in the Pac-12 in the
early season as it has defeated five of its first six opponents by a double-
digit margin this season. California looks to start the season 7-0 for the
first time in more than five decades. The last time Cal opened the season with
at least seven-straight regular-season victories was in 1959 when it was
coached by Pete Newell. Coach Mike Montgomery's team is producing 74.7 ppg and
limiting its opposition to 62.2 ppg on 38.6 percent shooting from the field.
The Bears face a tough test in this one however, as coach Bo Ryan enters with
a overall record of 114-30 in non-conference games, including a mark of 85-7
at the Kohl Center. This season, the Badgers are off to a 4-3 start, but their
losses have come to formidable opposition in Florida, Creighton, and Virginia.
Wisconsin was dominant in its first three wins, outscoring SE Louisiana,
Cornell, and Presbyterian by an average of 39.3 ppg. Its last win was a seven-
point decision over Arkansas on the road before it returned home to be
defeated by the Cavaliers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
These two teams have not met on the hardwood since 1986. California owns a 5-2
all-time series lead after seven bouts.
The majority of Cal's offensive production comes from its backcourt, which is
one of the most dynamic in the nation. The junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe
and Justin Cobbs are leading the Pac-12 in scoring after a tremendous start to
the season. Crabbe is first in the conference with 22 ppg and Cobbs is a close
second with 20 ppg. Cobbs earned took Most Outstanding Player honors with 58
total points in the three games in the DirecTV Classic. He was honored as the
Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday as well. Although no other players is
scoring in double-figures, Richard Solomon (8.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Ricky Kreklow
(6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and David Kravish (5.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg) are delivering on the
glass and defensive end to help the cause.
Wisconsin has a more balanced attack with four players scoring in double-
figures on a regular basis. Junior guard Ben Brust has been impressive early
on this season. Despite being only 6-1, Brust is leading the Big Ten in
rebounding with 7.9 rpg, which he is accompanying with 12.3 ppg. Big man Jared
Berggren is pacing the team with 14.7 ppg and leads the conference with 15
blocks. Senior forward Ryan Evans is also a force on the inside with 10.1 ppg
and 6.9 rpg. Ryan also has a promising newcomer in freshman forward Sam
Dekker. The rookie scored a career-high 19 points in the team's most recent
win and has knocked down 11-of-22 from 3-point range so far.
This game will really put the Golden Bears' perfect record in jeopardy. The
Badgers are very well coached and know how to frustrate their opposition.
California's two-man game is going to be hard to ride all season long, as it
will most likely someone else to step up to rise high in the national
rankings. However, Crabbe and Cobbs have not been stopped yet, so the pressure
is on Ryan's team to try to figure out their Achilles' heel.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 72, Wisconsin 67