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OLA PA'ANI LOPI: Wisconsin vs. Arizona

Maui Invitational First Round: Wisconsin vs. Arizona

Tip-off: 11 p.m. CT (7 p.m. Hawaiian Time)

Location: Lahaina Civic Center, Lahaina, Hawaii


Radio: Badgers Radio Network

Opposing Blog: Arizona Desert Swarm

Coverage: Check out our Wisconsin-Arizona Game Page

Ola Pa'ani Lopi. We think that means Live Game Thread. At least that's what this Hawaiian-English Dictionary says. Anyway, that's what this is -- our live game thread for tonight's late-night clash between Wisconsin and Arizona in the first round of the Maui Invitational.

Here's what you need to know about the Wildcats:

Sean Miller is in his first year as head coach at Arizona after five ridiculously successful seasons at Xavier -- yes, the team that ousted the Badgers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March. Miller was an assistant at Wisconsin during the 1992-93 season and one his student managers that year was James Whitford, who graduated from UW-Madison in 1994 and joined Miller's coaching staff at Xavier in 2005. He migrated with Miller to Arizona this season.

While Arizona's coaching staff might be familar with this Badgers' team, his players aren't. They also happen to be really young. Nic Wise, Arizona's best player, is the team's lone senior while fellow returning starter Jamelle Horne is the only junior on the team. As a result, the Wildcats' streak of 25 straight NCAA Tournament berths is in jeopardy this season, but it won't be if a talented recruiting class contributes immediately.

After Tim Floyd was forced out of USC, Sean Miller swooped in and alertly grabbed a couple of recruits who were released from their letters of intent at Southern Cal. The end result was's No. 12-ranked recruiting class -- impressive when you consider Miller was hired April 7.

The freshman you want to watch is 6'6 small forward Soloman Hill who is averaging 15 points in his first two games. Also watch out for 6'10 center Kyryl Natyazhko, 6'7 forward Derrick Williams and the speedy 5'11 Lamont "Momo" Jones -- all freshman.

We'll be here all night (and morning) long. The Badgers are four point favorites but this promises to be a good game. The winner faces Gonzaga tomorrow.

Feel free to leave your comments below.