Wisconsin Goes for 18th Straight at Indiana Print
Written by TheSpread   
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 08:30
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College Basketball: Wisconsin at Indiana - Indiana Favored

Team Page: Wisconsin :: Indiana

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Wisconsin has already proven it is an elite team. Another road win over a tough opponent would only strengthen that point.

The second-ranked Badgers look to extend the longest win streak in school history to 18 when they face Big Ten rival Indiana at Assembly Hall on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers have made Indiana -1 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds)

for todays game, the over/under has been set at 129.5 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).

This is shaping up to be a very memorable season for Wisconsin (21-1, 7-0), which has won 21 of its first 22 games for the first time in school history. The Badgers are 7-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since they went 12-0 in 1913-14.

A 57-46 victory Sunday at Iowa stretched the nation's longest active win streak to 17. It also improved Wisconsin's road record to 5-0, making it one of two teams, along with Virginia Commonwealth, without a road loss.

The Badgers are well aware of their success so far, but they insist that they haven't done anything yet.

"It's something to be proud of. I don't want to play it off as no big deal. But for us, we're not concentrating right now on that," junior Brian Butch said. "Maybe when the season is over with and we have time to look back at what we've accomplished, if anything, we can look back at it. But right now we're on wave and just trying to keep on doing what we've been doing."

Although overshadowed Sunday by national player of the year candidate Alando Tucker, who had 27 points, Butch also played a key role with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Butch has had back-to-back strong performances following a six-game stretch during which he averaged only 5.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. He leads the team with 6.4 boards and is third with 10.0 points a contest.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said Monday that Butch, who scored 16 points in a 71-58 victory over Michigan on Thursday, remains a work in progress.

"He's learning," Ryan said. "I just keep saying he's going to be pretty good next year, but we're playing now."

Iowa coach Steve Alford understands just how important Butch is to Wisconsin.

"When Brian becomes that consistent third scorer, this team really has a chance to advance deep into the tournament," he said. "They're definitely the class of our league right now. Any time they can get Brian doing the things that he does, that's a plus."

Tucker, the favorite for Big Ten player of the year honors, scored 14 of the Badgers' first 20 points Sunday and finished 11-of-14 from the field. He's the Big Ten's second-leading scorer with 19.6 points.

"The best in the country. He (Tucker) basically put this team on his back and carried us," guard Kammron Taylor said. "This is just another example of what he can do, especially in big games."

Wisconsin will try to end Indiana's 13-game home win streak, the Hoosiers' longest since they won 56 in a row from Feb. 24, 1991-Jan. 24, 1995.

Junior forward D.J. White and senior guard Roderick Wilmont each scored 15 points in Saturday's 76-61 victory over Michigan as Indiana (15-5, 5-2) improved to 11-0 at Assembly Hall this season.

Indiana has lost both games this season and four in a row against ranked teams. Its last home game against a Top 25 opponent, though, resulted in a 78-71 victory over then-No. 18 Michigan State on Feb. 26.

The Hoosiers won the most recent meeting with the Badgers 61-56 in the quarterfinals of Big Ten tournament March 10. Wisconsin, though, has taken six of the last eight matchups overall.

by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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