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Wisconsin vs. Eastern Illinois: how to watch and open thread

All the TV/streaming/radio info you need for Friday night’s home opener at the Kohl Center.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at St. Mary’s Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a tough overtime loss to No. 20 Saint Mary’s (1-0) in South Dakota, the Wisconsin Badgers (0-1) return home for their opener at the Kohl Center on Friday night. The Eastern Illinois Panthers (0-1) come to town having lost their opening game of the season, a 25-point blowout to last season’s national runner-up No. 13 Texas Tech (1-0), as well.

Wisconsin will look to get back on track against an EIU team that is picked to be middle of the pack in the OVC. Hopefully this game will provide some additional playing time for younger, less experienced players like Tyler Wahl while also giving the starters some rest after an OT game.

Bucky’s 5th Quarter will have Matt Belz reporting from the game and Dan Sanger taking photos of the action all season.

How to watch/listen

TV: BTN+, 7:00 p.m. CT, Asher Low

Streaming: BTN+ (as always at the beginning of the season, BTN+ is an additional paid subscription that you probably don’t have)

Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius 83, XM 83; Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas

Live stats: Here!

Arena: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Line: Wisconsin -18.5

KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 95%

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • The Badgers will begin their 23rd season in the Kohl Center, sporting a record of 297-51 (.853) all-time in that building.
  • Wisconsin has won 20 of its last 21 season openers (back to 1998-99).
  • Wisconsin leads the all-time series, 5-1, and is 5-0 in games played in Madison, including an 81-47 win for the Badgers in the most recent meeting in 2003.
  • Nate Reuvers matched a career high, in the season opener vs. Saint Mary’s, with 22 points, while also tallying six rebounds and four blocks in a career high 42 minutes played.
  • EIU does not have any freshmen or sophomores on its 2019-20 roster and entering the season will be the only team in the NCAA Division I ranks that does not have an underclassman suiting up.
  • Shareef Smith and Deang Deang both are from Madison and were All-Conference selections in high school before going on to play at Highland (Ill.) Junior College. Smith attended Memorial HS where he was the Big Eight Conference Player of the Year as a senior and fourth team All-State. Deang played at East HS where he was the Area Player of the Year and first team All-State as a senior.
  • EIU doesn’t feature a player taller than 6-foot-7 on their roster and their starting lineup doesn’t have anyone taller than 6-foot-6.
  • Junior college transfer George Dixon, who is from Milwaukee, made the most of his debut game with the Panthers as he posted a double-double (13 points and ten rebounds).

Probable starters


  • 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

Eastern Illinois

  • Jordan Skipper-Brown, junior, forward, No. 2
  • Mack Smith, junior, guard, No. 3
  • Marvin Johnson, junior, guard, No. 4
  • Josiah Wallace, junior, guard, No. 22
  • George Dixon, junior, forward, No. 35