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Wisconsin basketball: Badgers to battle Butler in Fort Myers Tip-Off

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Per a Jon Rothstein report, the Badgers opening opponent has been set.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers now know the one team that they’ll face for sure when they travel to the 2020 Fort Myers Tip-Off at the end of November. Per a source, Jon Rothstein announced that the Badgers would be taking on the Butler Bulldogs in the first round of the holiday tournament while the the Colorado Buffaloes and South Florida Bulls will match up in the other game.

The last time Wisconsin and Butler played was in the 2011 Sweet 16 where the Bulldogs jumped out to a large early lead and then held off a late Badgers rally to win 61-54. Jordan Taylor led the way for UW, scoring 22 points, while fellow all-conference player Jon Leuer struggled, only notching three points while shooting 1-of-12 from the field. Wisconsin was just another hurdle during Butler’s back-to-back Final Four runs at the beginning of the decade.

Wisconsin will try and clean the bad taste of last season’s holiday tournament disaster, when they lost to Richmond and New Mexico in Brooklyn, by winning the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Traditionally the Badgers have had success in these types of events, as a press release noted when announcing their participation: “UW owns a combined record of 23-12 (.657) in November tournaments since 2005. The Badgers have won the 2005 Paradise Jam, the 2011 Chicago Invitational, the 2013 Cancun Challenge and the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis. UW finished runner-up in the 2016 Maui Invitational and last season’s Battle 4 Atlantis.”

“The talent that each of these four programs will bring to Southwest Florida next year will make the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off a can’t-miss event in 2020,” said Drew Russell executive vice president at Intersport, which operates the event. “To continue to attract such high-caliber teams to Fort Myers for this annual event is what we envisioned when we launched the event in 2018. With Butler and Wisconsin having achieved and sustained incredible postseason success with trips to the Final Four, to Colorado and South Florida establishing themselves as formidable challengers for conference championships this season and beyond, the 2020 event will be an incredible proving ground for these teams as they kick off the season.”

Obviously, this is all contingent on there being a normal college hoops season this year which, as you may have heard, is still up in the air.