The Wisconsin men’s basketball will go up against the Northwestern Wildcats Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center as they look to extend their current five-game winning streak.Wisconsin (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) destroyed Northwestern (10-12, 1-8 Big Ten) by a margin of 23 points when the two teams met in Evanston, Illinois, on Jan. 4.This time around, the two teams couldn’t be going in more opposite directions. While the Badgers are streaking and atop the Big Ten, the Wildcats are continuing to fall. They have lost eight consecutive games and have not won a game since December.Since their loss to Rutgers, Wisconsin has been able to rattle off five straight wins thanks to their efficient play on both sides of the ball.According to Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings, Wisconsin currently leads the nation in offensive efficiency, averaging 125.2 points per 100 possessions. On top of scoring at an efficient rate, the Badgers are also taking care of the ball, as their average of 7.6 turnovers per game is the fewest in the country.In their first outing against Northwestern, the Badgers dropped 81 points on the Wildcats and were led by senior forward Frank Kaminsky, who put together a line of 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in just 24 minutes.Northwestern will look to put forth a better defensive effort this time around, bringing in a scoring defense that ranks in the middle of the Big Ten, as they have given up 63.5 points per game thus far.Defensively, Wisconsin is first in the Big Ten and ninth in the country in scoring defense, giving up just 56.5 points per game thus far.That defense will be going up against a Northwestern team who has struggled to score this season, averaging just 64.4 points per game, which is good for 12th in the Big Ten. Through their first nine Big Ten games, the Wildcats have only scored more than 70 points once in a losing effort to Michigan State.Despite the clear advantage Wisconsin has on both sides of the ball and Northwestern’s recent struggles, NU has showed it is still capable of putting up a decent fight. In a recent road test against Maryland, the Wildcats took then-No. 13 Terrapins to the wire in College Park, but ultimately lost 68-67.Northwestern has shown in flashes that they can compete with better teams, but Wisconsin is not just a better team — they are a much better team, and with proper execution, the Badgers should have no problem taking care of the Wildcats at home.Wisconsin (20-2 overall, 8-1 Big Ten)Big Ten: 8-1, 1st place by two games over Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan State and PurdueLast game: Defeated Indiana in Madison, 92-78Probable Starters: G – Bronson Koenig (6-4, 6.5 ppg), G – Josh Gasser (6-4, 7.6 ppg), F – Sam Dekker (6-9, 12.7 ppg), F – Nigel Hayes (6-8, 12.6 ppg), F – Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 17.8 ppg)Key Reserves: F – Duje Dukan, G – Zak Showalter, F – Vitto BrownNorthwestern (10-12, 1-8 Big Ten)Big Ten: 1-8, last place (14th)Last game: Lost to Nebraska, 76-60Probable Starters: G – Bryant McIntosh (6-5, 4.3 ppg), G – Tre Demps (6-3, 11.9 ppg), G – JerShon Cobb (6-5, 6.2 ppg), G – Scottie Lindsey (6-5, 4.3 ppg), C – Alex Olah (7-0, 11.0 ppg)Key Reserves: F – Vic Law, G – Dave Sobolewski, G – Sanjay LumpkinWho – Northwestern at No. 5 WisconsinWhen – Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015Where – Madison, Wisconsin; Kohl Center (17,230)TV Broadcast – Big Ten Network
The University of Wisconsin volleyball team (9-2) continued their road stand as they traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana, where they defeated the No. 16 Purdue Boilermakers (13-1) 3–0 Saturday night.The Wisconsin offense and hitting staff got off to an early start in the first set with the Badgers jumping out to a 13–5 run. It wasn’t just one hitter taking charge, as a cumulative effort came from Dana Rettke, Tionna Williams and Madison Duello all recording kills in the opening run.The Boilermakers attempted to creep back into the set, responding with a 5–1 run and capitalizing on Badger errors. However, the Badgers cleaned up those uncommon errors quickly, as they would respond with a 6–0 run led by Sydney Hilley getting all her hitters involved and even recording a sneaky kill of her own.Volleyball: Badgers falter in tough matchup versus No. 6 Gophers, Purdue up nextThe University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team had a tough start to their brutal road trip on Wednesday night. No. Read…In a set of runs, the Badgers led 23–14 before they let Purdue come back into set one. A Boilermaker 10–1 run made the score 24–23. Wisconsin, knowing the first set is crucial in gaining the initial momentum edged out the Boilermakers first set 25–23.The second set continued a competitive matchup between two of the top Big Ten teams. With Hilley recording, the first two kills of the set for the Badgers, Rettke and company took over. Taking advantage of nine Purdue errors throughout the set, the Badgers battled to a six-point win in the second set finishing 25–19.With Wisconsin up two sets to none, Purdue was facing their first home court sweep barring a comeback. Even though the Boilermakers led most of the third set, it was never by more than four points. A late 6–2 run by the Badgers tied the third set at 23 and made a shutout sweep seem increasingly likely.Men’s soccer: Badgers grind out road win over Marquette, look toward Michigan StateThe University of Wisconsin men’s soccer (4–4–1, 1–1 Big Ten) claimed their second consecutive road win with a 1–0 victory Read…After dropping the swing point to Purdue making it 24–23 Boilermakers, the Badgers rallied back with three straight kills from Duello. Wisconsin went on to win the third set 26–24 and sweep the Boilermakers 3–0.Stat leaders for the Badgers include Rettke with 15 kills and two aces, Danielle Hart with four blocks and Hilley with a total 33 assists through three sets. Molly Haggerty also showed her versatility on both sides of the ball as the leading passer with 10 digs from the back row.After facing their fifth ranked opponent of the season, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Badgers. 3–2 against ranked opponents this season and 1–1 against Big Ten ranked opponents, Wisconsin’s next matchup will be pivotal in increasing both of those records.Football: Wisconsin’s path to playoff anything but unprecedentedAfter the gut-wrenching loss to Brigham Young University, it’s easy to see how one could assume that the Badger’s season Read…The Badgers will face their third ranked opponent in a row in their third consecutive road game as they travel to No. 7 Illinois Wednesday. The Fighting Illini have faced a total of six ranked opponents this season, dropping just one of those matches. The most recent loss was to No. 3 Nebraska as they will look to regain momentum against Wisconsin Wednesday night.Wisconsin will have to shut down Fighting Illini big hitter Jacqueline Quade. The 6’2” junior outside hitter sits third in the Big Ten with 4.16 kills per set and has 229 kills on the season so far.The match will take place Wednesday at 8 p.m. from Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.