Nebraska Omaha (2-7) at Wisconsin (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 4, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kohl Center (17,230) -- Madison, Wisconsin. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNO 1-1, Wisconsin 4-1. Away Record: UNO 0-5, Wisconsin 0-1. Neutral Record: UNO 1-1, Wisconsin 1-1. Conference Record: UNO 0-2, Wisconsin 0-0. Series Record: Wisconsin leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Nebraska Omaha Mavericks look for an upset as they visit the Kohl Center to take on the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Mavericks are coming off of a 78-63 loss to Summit League rival South Dakota State. The loss was the second in a row and seventh in eight outings for UNO, which has a 2-7 overall record heading into Tuesday. The team still has two more spots left on its 10-game road swing after its trip to Madison. Coach Derrin Hansen's struggles this season are understandable, as he only has one player on his roster with a full year of Division I experience at his disposal. The Mavericks are being outscored by an average of 14.6 ppg.
The likelihood of Omaha turning things around at the Kohl Center are highly unlikely. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan enters with a overall record of 115-30 in non-conference games, including a mark of 86-7 at the Kohl Center. The Badgers just completed an 81-56 rout of the formerly undefeated California Golden Bears on Sunday to improve to 5-3 overall. Wisconsin's losses have come to Florida, Creighton, and Virginia. The Cavaliers were the only team of the three to win in Madison.
Wisconsin leads the all-time series with UNO 1-0. The Badgers won the last contest 86-47 in 1986-87.
Omaha had an atrocious start to its Summit League membership, as it suffered a lopsided loss at North Dakota State (95-51) before losing to the Jackrabbits. The Mavericks shot well versus SDSU as they hit 48.1 percent of their field goal attempts. They also held a narrow 34-33 edge in the rebounding battle. However, Omaha hurt itself by turning the ball over 22 times in the contest, which allowed the Jackrabbits to attempt 15 more field goals. Junior center John Karhoff led the Mavericks with 16 points, but also committed a team-high six turnovers. junior guard Justin Simmons and sophomore guard C.J. Carter added 10 points each. Simmons, who is a Wisconsin native, leads the team with 12.1 ppg. Karhoff is second with 11.3 ppg.
The Badgers are one of the top teams on the defensive end of the floor once again this season. Wisconsin held a very talented Golden Bears team to a season-low 56 points and converted 23 Cal turnovers into 25 points its last time out. The Badgers knocked down 51.7 percent of their field goal attempts and held their opponent to 38.3 percent shooting as well. Junior guard Ben Brust led the charge with 22 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Senior center Jared Berggren added 18 points and eight boards. Berggren leads the team with 15.1 ppg and is also adding 6.6 boards per contest. Brust nets 13.5 ppg and a team-best 7.5 rpg. Ryan Evans and Sam Dekker also score in double figures consistently.
Wisconsin will have no problem fending off the struggling Mavericks. Some big- time teams are susceptible to upsets, but Ryan's Badgers are very unlikely to be in close games with suspect opponents due to their ability on the defensive end of the floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wisconsin 68, Nebraska Omaha 49
12/04 10:53:30 ET