Big Ten Men's Basketball
Wisconsin vs. Illinois
|15-5 (4-3 Big Ten)||15-4 (4-2 Big Ten)|
Jan. 22, 2012 1:00 PM CT
Assembly Hall (16,618), Champaign, Ill.
TV: BTN (Brian Anderson, Gary Williams)
Radio: 1070 FM / 1310 AM (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)
All-time Series: Illinois leads 110-76
Last Meeting: UW won 76-66 (1/15/11)
Illinois fell victim to a last-second shot by Tim Frazier and saw their short stay atop the Big Ten swatted away by Penn State the last time out. Meanwhile, Wisconsin blitzed Northwestern in the second half to pull within a half game of the Illini in the conference standings.
The key to the game may very well be junior Jared Berggren. Though Berggren snapped up a career-best 13 rebounds against Nebraska, his touch has deserted him during Big Ten play. Now shooting 31.7% in conference, Berggren is only Wisconsin's sixth-leading scoring in those games. But his proclivity to fire jumpers may actually come in handy by pulling Illinois' 7-footer, Meyers Leonard, away from the hoop. Leonard averages 7.6 rebounds and 2.1 blockers per game and is second on the team in scoring behind Brandon Paul with 13.1 points per contest.
Paul and six other Chicago-area players litter the Illini roster. Five Badgers hail from the Chicago area too, though none were recruited seriously by Illinois. Could guys like Ben Brust and Frank Kaminsky play with a chip on their shoulder in this quasi-homecoming?