Bettors Like Wisconsin-Milwaukee Plus The Point Against Rival #7 Badgers
The fifth-year senior looks to help the seventh-ranked Badgers (9-1) defeat another in-state rival when they host Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-9) on Wednesday night.
Oddsmakers have made #7 Wisconsin -23 point spread favorites (College Basketball Odds) for todays game, the over/under has
been set at 134 total points (View College Basketball Sports Books).
The two schools and their coaches are quite familiar with one another. Badgers coach Bo Ryan spent two years at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, leading the team to back-to-back winning records in 1999-2000 and 2000-01 before departing. Rob Jeter, the Panthers' second-year coach, was an assistant under Ryan for 10 years.
``When you spend that many years together and go through what we've been through, we talk. We stay in touch,'' said Ryan, who's 15-2 against in-state opponents, including 12-0 at home. ``Rob will get ready for this one. That's all I know. He deals with things the same way I do.''
Ryan will be counting on Tucker to keep his team focused against the Panthers, who have lost five straight and are off to their worst start since dropping 15 of their first 16 games in 1997-98.
After facing Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a showdown at home with No. 2 Pittsburgh on Saturday.
If Tucker continues his hot play, the Badgers should be in good hands for both games. He had a season-high 28 points to help Wisconsin hold off Marquette, another in-state rival, 70-66 last Saturday.
``That's what we want to do, keep feeding the hot hand,'' Badgers guard Kammron Taylor said. ``Tucker was hot, and he carried us.''
Tucker also scored 21 points to help the Badgers beat Winthrop 82-79 in overtime last Monday, leads the team at 20.2 points per game and is the main reason why Wisconsin has won five in a row and nine of its first 10 games.
``He's the part of the whole that has been the most consistent,'' Ryan said. ``He's worked hard to put himself in that position and we certainly aren't going to discourage him from doing a lot of positive things. And he's got the maturity to handle it.''
While the series with Marquette has been intense, the Badgers have had no trouble with Milwaukee. Ryan is 5-0 against his former school and the Badgers have won 13 straight over the Panthers, the last four coming in Madison.
The Badgers lead the series 22-1, with the Panthers' only win coming in 1992.
Tucker scored 25 points to help Wisconsin win 74-68 last season, even though the Badgers shot 2-for-15 from 3-point range.
Milwaukee is struggling this season after an extended period of success. After going 22-9 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, the Panthers have had trouble finding the basket. They've been held under 70 points in nine of their 12 games, including eight of their nine losses.
``It's a young team. It's trying to get some things done and mature and blend, but you know the rest of us are trying to do the same thing, but only we have older players,'' Ryan said about the Panthers. ``I think they're picking it up because they are getting some good looks.''
Milwaukee is 0-5 on the road.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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