The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball season has finally started for real! Sure there have been practices and exhibition games against WIAC teams but tonight...oh tonight the games are for real.
The Badgers open their season against the No. 20 Saint Mary’s Gaels in Sioux Falls, S.D. which is just a weird thing to write, but it’s happening. The Gaels have consistently been one of the best mid-major teams in the country and these last few years have been one of the best teams in the country period.
Saint Mary’s beat Gonzaga to win the WCC Tournament title and took Villanova to the wire in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. They have a pair of all-conference performers who will give the Badgers fits and somehow play at an even more glacial pace than Wisconsin does.
Everyone except Wisconsin and Saint Mary’s fans will hate this game! Well, Virginia fans might like it. Anyways, here’s how to watch and some fun facts and potential starting lineups for you!
How to watch/listen
TV: ESPNU, 8:00 p.m. CT, Jordan Bernfeld and Robbie Hummel
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius 83, XM 83; Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here! (hopefully these work this time)
Arena: The Samford Pentagon, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Line: Wisconsin +4.5
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 43%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- The Gaels and Badgers haven’t met since 1976 in Madison in a 82-76 Wisconsin win. Both of the teams’ two meetings have come in Madison (1-1).
- Jordan Ford and Malik Fitts accounted for 1,234 points last season which was 50.1 percent of the Saint Mary’s total scoring.
- Wisconsin returns 61.9% (1,443 of 2,333 points) of its scoring from last season, led by returning starters D’Mitrik Trice (11.6 ppg), Brad Davison (10.5 ppg) and Nate Reuvers (7.9 ppg).
- This is the first time that the Badgers will tip off their season at a neutral site since 2013-14, which also took place at the Sanford Pentagon. The Badgers beat St. John’s 86-75.
- After tonight, the Badgers will have only ever played religious figures at The Samford Pentagon.
- Wisconsin has won 16 of its last 17 season openers dating back to 2001. The lone loss came in a 69-67 setback to Western Illinois in the 2015-16 debut.
- D’Mitrik Trice, junior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, redshirt junior, forward, No. 2
- Kobe King, redshirt sophomore, guard, No. 23
- Brad Davison, junior, guard, No. 34
- Nate Reuvers, junior, forward, No. 35
- Tanner Krebs, redshirt junior, guard, No. 00
- Jordan Ford, senior, guard, No. 3
- Matthias Tass, sophomore, center, No. 11
- Tommy Kuhse, redshirt junior, guard, No. 12
- Malik Fitts, redshirt junior, forward, No. 24
What are you predictions for the game? Who wins? Who is the leading scorer?
Micah Potter is with the team here in Sioux Falls. He was granted a one-time NCAA waiver to travel.— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 5, 2019
Potter is not, however, eligible to compete in tonight’s game
Will Micah Potter try and enter the game with glasses and a fake mustache on? Tune in to find out!