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Wisconsin to play Louisville in Big Ten/ACC Challenge [UPDATE]

It will be a second ever meeting between the Badgers and Cardinals.

Minnesota v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Wisconsin will play host to Louisville in the 2020 Big Ten/ACC challenge, per a report from Jon Rothstein. The Cardinals, who ended last season with a 24-7 record after COVID-19 caused the cancellation of conference and national tournaments, will look to pick up where they left off in March by taking down the reigning Big Ten co-champion Badgers. As for when and where, that is still to be decided.

The roster for the Cards, however, will be unmistakably different from last year. Key senior contributors Steve Enoch, Lamarr Kimble, Jordan Nwora, Ryan McMahon, Keith Oddo and Dwayne Sutton have now graduated, leaving a number of lineup holes to be filled in by new recruits and transfers.

The team’s lone returning starter, sophomore David Johnson, will likely be key to whatever offensive success the team has against Greg Gard and co. Johnson will be joined in the backcourt by graduate transfer Carlik Jones, who crossed the Appalachian Mountains following a standout 20 points per game season with Radford.

Virginia Tech v Louisville
Louisville’s David Johnson doing basketball.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It will be a tall task for this inexperienced Cardinal group to overcome a Badger lineup that brings back five starters, and only lost two seniors from last year’s team to graduation. Tack on a strong freshman recruiting class, including former state Mr. Basketball Jonathan Davis and 4-star St. Paul, Minn. native Ben Carlson, and this Wisconsin roster looks to be a more than formidable foe.

Louisville and Wisconsin have only clashed head to head once before, a 70-53 Cardinal victory in 1978, but Louisville coach Chris Mack is no stranger to the Badgers, who stunned Mack’s second-seeded Xavier Musketeers 66-63 in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament behind a pair of game-tying, and then game-winning three pointers by guard Bronson Koenig.

In last year’s Big Ten/ACC challenge Wisconsin fell to North Carolina State 69-54, while Louisville beat Michigan 58-43.

UPDATE, Friday, October 30th, 9:02 a.m. CST:

The Badgers and Cardinals will be playing in Madison on Wednesday, December 9th according to an ESPN release

North Carolina at Iowa, Illinois at Duke and Michigan State at Virginia highlight the yearly showdown.