Jan. 18, 2013
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By ERIC CLARK
IOWA CITY, Iowa — When the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team strolls into Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, it will be four days removed from an upset of Indiana, the second-ranked team in the nation. The Badgers defeated the Hoosiers, 64-59, on Indiana’s home court, one of the most hostile venues in the Big Ten.
“I thought it was a great game,” said University of Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery. “(Wisconsin) played tough, they played smart, and they didn’t turn it over.”
“They’re tough. Indiana is a crazy place to play, and for (Wisconsin) to go in and control the game the way they did is impressive,” said UI senior Eric May.
Although the Hawkeyes average 3.8 more points per game than the Badgers, there is a definitive difference in the team’s preferred tempo and style.
“We have a contrast of styles. Whoever can put their style’s imprint on the game is going to win.”
UI freshman Adam Woodbury
“They try to play at their pace, playing slow, eating up the shot clock,” said May. “We’re going to try to throw some pressure on them and speed them up a little bit.”
UI sophomore Aaron White said Wisconsin’s physical style is a factor in maintaining a deliberate tempo.
“They’re always going to be physical with you,” White said. “They’re taking care of the ball, taking good shots, and they’re a little more athletic than they have been in the past.”
UI freshman Adam Woodbury said tempo will be the most important key Saturday.
“We have a contrast of styles,” he said. “Whoever can put their style’s imprint on the game is going to win.”
McCaffery said Wisconsin’s efficiency is what makes it a difficult opponent.
“I’m not as concerned about patience as am I about us getting a good shot, you can get a good shot five or six seconds into the shot clock,” he said. “Against them, it’s about good shots that have a chance to go in.”
The Badgers (13-4 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) are riding a two-game winning streak over ranked Big Ten teams after defeating 12th-ranked Illinois on Jan. 12, and second-ranked Indiana on Tuesday.
McCaffery said that although the Badgers are viewed as a slow-paced, ball-control team, he does not expect them to strictly stick to that style.
“They’ve got guys who can run,” he said. “I think they’re looking to push it a little more than they have. They’re more than just an opportunistic running team.”
After the Hawkeyes defeated the Badger’s in both meetings last season, revenge may be on the minds of many Wisconsin players and coaches. However, May thinks last season’s games will have little to do with Saturday’s contest.
“They always bring it, we know that, and we’re not surprised by it at all,” he said.
UI junior Roy Devyn Marble expects a battle Saturday, just as he would from any Big Ten opponent.
“I think you could find a way to make every game a rivalry in the Big Ten,” he said. “I’m sure they’re going to come out with a lot of fire.”