College Basketball: Wisconsin at Iowa - Badgers Heavily Favored
The second-ranked Badgers (20-1, 6-0 Big Ten) will try for the best start in school history when they visit Iowa (11-9, 3-3).
Wisconsin beat Michigan 71-58 on Wednesday for its 16th straight victory, the longest winning streak in the nation. The Badgers' No. 2 ranking is the highest in team history, and they're 6-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since the 1913-14 team went 12-0.
Wednesday's victory also matched the best start in school history. The 1915 squad finished the season 20-1, won the Big Ten and was named national champion.
"We can't stop now, it's only a taste of what we want," said Alando Tucker, who leads Wisconsin with 19.2 points per game. "We get that taste right now, but we know we have a chance to go so far, and if we keep working hard we can get there."
Tucker scored 16 points against the Wolverines, helping the Badgers to become the first team in the country with 20 wins. Wisconsin is one of two teams, along with third-ranked UCLA, with just one defeat.
The Badgers' only loss came by a 66-64 score to Missouri State on Nov. 24 in the semifinals of the South Padre Island Invitational.
"In the grand scheme of things it really means nothing," Wisconsin's Brian Butch said of his team's win streak. "Those are all great things to achieve, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to downplay them, but right now we're on a mission."
Butch had 16 points Wednesday after not scoring in double digits in his previous six games. He had averaged just 6.7 points in 30 career Big Ten games.
Tucker played just 18 minutes, his fewest in three years, because of foul trouble early and the blowout late.
"The other guys picked him up, and they did a good job of it," coach Bo Ryan said.
Iowa beat Penn State 79-63 on Wednesday for its first victory in three games. Adam Haluska, the Big Ten leader with 20.3 points per game, had 24 for the Hawkeyes.
Alford was pleased with the victory, but concerned that his team was outrebounded 44-32 - especially with the Badgers coming to town.
"In my 15 years of coaching I know I haven't had a team give up 27 offensive boards and win," he said. "Minus the board play, we did a really good job."
The Hawkeyes have won 12 straight conference games at home, the longest such streak in the history of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which opened in 1983. They have not lost to a Big Ten opponent on their home floor since a 75-65 defeat to then-No. 1 Illinois on Feb. 19, 2005.
"We have a great winning streak going on at home in the Big Ten, and we want to keep that going. It's going to be a great environment, with a full house. It doesn't get any better than that," Alford said of Sunday's game.
Iowa beat Wisconsin 59-44 on March 4 in the last meeting between the teams, ending a six-game losing streak in the series.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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