After securing a big comeback win against Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational on Monday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers (3-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) are back in action on Tuesday afternoon against the No. 12 Houston Cougars (4-0 overall, 0-0 American).
The Coogs jumped out to a 17-0 lead against Butler on Monday in their own quarterfinal matchup and never looked back, winning by 18, 70-52. In other Maui Invitational news, Oregon pounded host Chaminade and St. Mary’s upset Notre Dame by three to set up the other semifinal contest.
Houston lost a bunch of contributors, including All-America guard Quentin Grimes, from last season’s Final Four team but they have fully reloaded and are looking to make another deep run in March. Marcus Sasser had a quiet game, by his standards, against Butler but is averaging 19.8 ppg and 3.8 apg this season while shooting 46.4% from beyond the arc. Sasser is also ranked No. 7 in KenPom’s player of the year rankings.
The Cougars will be Wisconsin’s toughest test of the season so far, obviously, as the are the No. 3 defense and the No. 11 offense as ranked by KenPom. They don’t have a ton of height, but their guards rebound extremely well and they are also shooting 39.8% from deep on the season. The Badgers will not be able to get away with a slow start against the Cougars, as Houston will bury them, just like they did to Butler.
Can't stop on a heater. GAME DAY‼️ pic.twitter.com/FNEoaZjSuH— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 23, 2021
Still! It’ll be exciting to see the young Badgers take on one of the best teams in the country.
How to watch/listen
TV: ESPN, 4 p.m. CT, Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas
Streaming: ESPN App; WatchESPN
Radio/Satellite: WIBA 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas
DraftKings Line: Wisconsin + 7.5
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 32%
Torvik Wisconsin win percentage: 24%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- After beating Texas A&M on Monday afternoon, the Badgers have reached the semis in each of their last three visits to the Maui Invitational.
- Wisconsin is now 6-4 all-time in the Maui Invitational.
Today's @MauiInv Semifinals game vs Wisconsin is first meeting against Badgers since Dec 11, 1965— Houston Men's Hoops (@UHCougarMBK) November 23, 2021
Here's the boxscore from that game... Who thinks this Elvin Hayes guy is gonna be pretty good?
Tune in on @espn & @KPRCradio at 4 pm CST TODAY#ForTheCity pic.twitter.com/1JBOUrwYtM
- Wisconsin and Houston have met twice, playing a home and home series in 1964 and 1965 with each team winning on its home floor. The Badgers claimed a 76-65 win in Madison before the Cougars answered with a 82-57 win in Houston.
- UW went 2-1 against Kelvin Sampson-led Indiana in 2007 and 2008.
- In facing No. 12 Houston, the Badgers are looking for their 22nd win over a ranked opponent under Greg Gard.
- UW’s last win over a top-12 foe was an 85-76 win at No. 12 Michigan State last season (Dec. 25, 2020).
Johnny showed out Day 1 in Vegas— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 22, 2021
• Career-high 21 points
• Career-high 9 rebounds
Highlights from Johnny Davis' day pic.twitter.com/9NaMh4AggH
- Johnny Davis led UW against A&M, setting career highs with 21 points and nine rebounds. He also added two assists and two steals.
- Davis’ 21 points equal the second-best scoring output for a Badger in the Maui Invitational, trailing only the 24 points scored by Trevon Hughes against Arizona in 2009.
- Brad Davison scored 19 points on Monday and is tied with D’Mitrik Trice for 14th on UW’s all-time scoring ledger with 1,430 career points. He needs 25 to pass Kirk Penney (1,454) for 13th place.
- UW went 15-for-17 at the free throw line, making more FTs than TAMU attempted.
- Wisconsin out-rebounded the Aggies 36-29, including 11-5 on the offensive glass.
- Johnny Davis, 6-foot-5, sophomore, guard, No. 1
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, junior, forward, No. 5
- Steven Crowl, 7-foot, sophomore, forward, No. 22
- Chucky Hepburn, 6-foot-2, freshman, guard, No. 23
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, super senior, guard, No. 34
- Marcus Sasser, 6-foot-2, junior, guard, No. 0
- Jamal Shead, 6-foot-1, sophomore, guard, No. 1
- Taze Moore, 6-foot-5, senior, wing, No. 4
- Kyler Edwards, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 11
- Fabian White, 6-foot-8, senior, forward, No. 35