The No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers look to improve to 4-0 on the season as it takes on the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center to close out a four-game homestand to start the season. This is the second game of the Chicago Invitational Challenge. The Badgers won its first game Saturday night 69-33 over Wofford.
This is the first meeting between the two teams. The Badgers are 4-2 so far against teams from the Summit League with the last game being a 75-46 win over IPFW two years ago.
With the next victory for Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan, he will reach 246 wins which will tie Hall of Famer Walter Meanwell for second on Wisconsin's all-time wins list. The leader in that category is Harold "Bud" Foster, who had 265 wins for the Badgers from 1934-1959, including the school's only national championship in basketball in 1941.
The defense for the Badgers has dominated so far, allowing an average of 35 points per game, which leads the country, and has only allowed one opponent to reach 40 points. The Badgers have held its opponents to an astounding 28.3 percent shooting, which leads the Big Ten, and is out-rebounding them by nearly 20 per game.
The Badgers now welcome the Kangaroos, who are 1-3 on the season and coming off a disappointing 58-54 loss to the Utah Valley Wolverines.
Wisconsin leads the Big Ten and is seventh in the nation in 3-point shooting. The 11.3 3-pointers per game for the Badgers also leads the Big Ten. UMKC is allowing opponents to shoot just 28.4 percent from beyond the arc, but some of that is due to the competition they have played thus far.
All-American Jordan Taylor has been a facilitator more than a scorer so far on the season. Taylor has taken just 21 shots so far, but has 15 assists as well as just one turnover. Ben Brust has been a spark off the bench for the Badgers, shooting 45 percent from behind the arc and averaging 13.3 points per game, which leads the team. Coming off of an impressive performance against Wofford, Josh Gasser will look to continue his dominance from 3-point range as he has made nine of his 10 attempts this season. His 11.7 points per game is second on the team.
UMKC is led by senior guard Reggie Chamberlain. He is averaging 17.8 points per game and is shooting 50 percent from the field, including 43.5 percent from 3-point land. Trinity Hall is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game, but is also turnover prone, having 13 already this season through four games. Kyle Korver, the younger brother of Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls, is a 3-point shooter like his brother. He shot 38.6 percent last season, but is just 6-20 so far this season from long range.
All four UWKC games have been decided by 10 points or less, but expect this one to be over early. Ben Brust has had his turn early on this season and Gasser had his turn last game, so maybe another role player will have a breakout game. I am going to say Ryan Evans. He has shown flashes of being a really good player in the past and is playing well to start the year.
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 76, UMKC 37