Thursday, November 11, 2010

Badgers on a Mission: Breaking Down November's Games

  As the Wisconsin Badgers and Bo Ryan begin their 2010 season, there are (as always) a few question marks about the upcoming opponents.

The Badgers match-up as well as ever against the early-season out of conference opponents, but there is no need to overlook teams that are more than capable of an upset.  Thisis after all, college basketball, folks.  (Let's not forget about last year's shocking loss to UW-Green Bay).
The surprising amount of talent the Badgers have been able to accumulate this off-season will give UW fans a lot to look forward to.
Tuning up for the Big Ten - ACC challenge is a must for every Big Ten team -- and the Badgers are no exception.
With that being said, let's take a look at the November match-ups looming ahead for Bucky's crew.
UW-La Crosse (Exhibition)
2009-2010 UW-Lacrosse: 17-9  (Division III)
Where: Kohl's Center
When: Saturday, November 6th, 7:00 PM
Now, with all do respect to La Crosse, they really don't stand much of a chance.
Nevertheless, this is a great way to start the season for both squads.  
Giving Wisconsin their first meaningful regular season tune-up looking towards the rest of the season, La Crosse will learn ample amounts of basketball knowledge by facing-off against one of the Big Ten's best.
At the Kohl's Center, the Badgers are virtually unbeatable -- amounting to only one home loss in the last two seasons.
Expect a big game out of Jon Leuer, as well as players coming off the bench for Bucky's crew.
Minnesota State-Mankato (Exhibition)
MSU Mankato: 15-13 
Where: Kohl's Center
When: Wednesday, November 10th, 7:00pm
Again, the Badgers are seemingly unstoppable with home-court advantage on their side, and an extremely average Mankato squad won't change that.
With seven Seniors returning for their final season, a multitude of experience is obviously on the Mavericks' side.
Mankato averaged 86.6 PPG, all while holding their opponents to 69.6 PPG.
However Wisconsin faces top-notch Big Ten competition year in and year out.
Bo Ryan's group will use their final exhibition game to their advantage.
Prairie View A&M
Prairie View A&M:
Where: Kohl's Center
When: Sunday, November 14th, 5:00pm
What a way to start the season, right?  Think again.
Prairie View A&M is nearly the easiest schools Wisconsin could have scheduled to start the season off -- and with good reason.
It's invaluable for the Badgers to get off to a great start to the season, and what else could a home game against an opponent like Prairie View bring?
Again, anything is possible in college basketball, but I've got a feeling that Bo Ryan and company will take care of business as planned.
North Dakota
North Dakota: 9-23 
Where: Kohl's Center
When: Tuesday, November 16, 7:00pm
Fresh off a league-worst Big Sky Conference 9-23 season, the Fighting Sioux try to knock off the Badgers who will already be on a roll through their out of conference schedule.
Bo Ryan's crew is just trying to gain some more confidence, scheduling one of the more embarrassing opponents in the country.
With only two returning Seniors, and two overall returning starters, the Fighting Sioux will only be looking to score a respectable amount of buckets against Bucky's group.
Jon Leuer will be red-hot, and poised to make his run towards the 2010 Big Ten player of the year award.
I'd have to say the Badges will take this game handily.
UNLV: 25-9
Where: Las Vegas, NV
When: Saturday, November 20, 6:00pm
The team that ousted the No. 2-seeded Badgers in 2008 is back and better than ever coming off an astounding 25-9 season.
Even though losing to Northern Iowa in the first-round of the NCAA tournament isn't exactly how they planned their postseason fortunes, Anthony Marshall (above) is poised to bring this Runnin' Rebels team back to the tournament.
The Badgers will have to contain emerging star Carlos Lopez in the paint if they want a shot at this one.
The hostile environment in Las Vegas will be a key factor as well.
Rest assured, the Badgers have to be ready.
Manhattan: 11-20
Where: Kohl's Center
When: Thursday, November 25, 1:00pm
Coming out of the MAAC Conference, Manhattan averaged 65.5 PPG, while allowing 67.2 PPG to their respective opponents.
With a 4-12 record on the road last season against a handful of inferior opponents, Manhattan's road-winning abilities are seriously in question coming into this season.
The Badgers are at home, and starting the Old Spice Classic against the Jaspers will be a gimme win for Bo Ryan's crew.

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