The No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers (5-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) are finally back in action on Wednesday night, a full week after claiming the Maui Invitational title in Las Vegas. Their opponent in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge this year is defending ACC Tournament champion, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-1 overall, 0-0 ACC). This will be Wisconsin’s first true road game of the season and should be a fun one.
Season’s first true road trip ✈️— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) November 30, 2021
Big Ten/ACC Challenge tomorrow pic.twitter.com/TAYuyYt8uN
This year’s Tech team is missing two key components from last year’s squad, all-ACC point guard Jose Alvarado and ACC Player of the Year Moses Wright, but still feature a number of players that Wisconsin will have to pay attention to.
Michael Devoe is leading the ACC in scoring (23.4 ppg) this season and Jordan Usher (15.8 ppg) is sitting in ninth. So far this season the Yellow Jackets have also played solid defense, although this should be taken with a grain of salt because they haven’t exactly played a murderer’s row of a schedule. Georgia Tech’s best (???) win is over a dreadful Georgia team and the only team they’ve played who is ranked better than the Dawgs in KenPom is No. 121 Miami (Ohio)...to whom they lost. More recently they escaped with a two-point win over No. 208 Georgia Southern.
All of this is to say Wisconsin is the best team, by far, that Tech has played this season. The Badgers will be well-rested and, presumably, raring to go since they haven’t played a game in a week. Johnny Davis will look to continue his torrid start to the season and Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl will look to do some damage down low.
Up for the Challenge! GAME DAY‼️ pic.twitter.com/Usiklh5UjJ— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) December 1, 2021
The Big Ten has jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the Challenge and hopefully by the time Wisconsin’s game tips off the conference will just be looking to run up the score on the ACC.
How to watch/listen
TV: ESPN2, 8:15 p.m. CT, Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli
Streaming: ESPN App; WatchESPN
Radio/Satellite: WIBA 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 195; Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta
DraftKings Line: Wisconsin -3.5
(Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.)
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 55%
Torvik Wisconsin win percentage: 55%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Wisconsin is 11-11 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, equaling the most wins among Big Ten schools (Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue also have 11 Challenge wins) in the event. The Badgers are 46-45 all-time against teams from the ACC.
- UW is 3-8 on the road in the Challenge.
- Under Greg Gard, the Badgers are 3-2 in the Challenge and have gone 6-5 vs. the ACC overall. Gard’s teams have beaten Syracuse, NC State and Louisville in the Challenge as well as three ACC teams in the NCAA tournament: Pittsburgh (2016), Virginia Tech (2017) and North Carolina (2021).
- Last season, UW registered a pair of wins over ACC teams, beating Louisville, 85-48, in the Challenge and North Carolina, 85-62, in the NCAA Tournament.
- Wisconsin and Georgia Tech are tied in their all-time series 1-1. The Badgers won in 1963 during the Milwaukee Classic and the Yellow Jackets won in 2001, 62-61, in Atlanta during the Challenge. It’s time to settle a 58 year score, baby.
it’s a great day to beat Wisconsin— World Series Champion Blooper (@BlooperBraves) December 1, 2021
- Apparently there will be some sort of Atlanta Braves World Series celebration at the game as well. GO TO HELL, BLOOPER!
- Georgia Tech assistant coach Julian Swartz was a member of Wisconsin’s Final Four team in 2000, and is a native of Waukesha.
- Through six games, UW is shooting 83.0% at the free throw line and has made more FTs (88) than their opponents have attempted.
- Wisconsin is also out-rebounding foes 38.5 to 34.0, while averaging just 9.0 turnovers/game.
- Wisconsin has stifled its opponents this season, holding the opposition to an average of 55.2 points per game (which leads the Big Ten and is No. 9 in the nation), 38.0 FG% and 31.7% 3FG.
- Johnny Davis is coming off a three-game stretch during which he averaged 23.7 points (47.2% FG, 46.2% 3FG, 15-15 FT) and 6.7 rebounds per game, which was highlighted by a career-high 30-point performance vs. No. 12 Houston.
- Davis became the first Badger to score 20+ pts in three straight games since Ethan Happ in 2018.
- Brad Davison, who has scored 1,443 points in his career, is 90 points away from being in the top-ten in Wisconsin history.
- 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
- Michael Devoe, 6-foot-5, senior, guard, No. 0
- Kyle Sturdivant, 6-foot-2, junior, guard, No. 1
- Jordan Usher, 6-foot-7, fifth year senior, forward, No. 4
- Khalid Moore, 6-foot-7, senior, forward, No. 12
- Rodney Howard, 6-foot-10, junior, center, No. 24