Madison, WI (SportsNetwork.com) – A pair of 3-0 teams will put their perfect
seasons to the test on Saturday night, as the third-ranked Wisconsin Badgers
welcome the Boise State Broncos to the Kohl Center for non-conference action.
Boise State opened the season with the LMU Classic and collected a pair of
wins on back-to-back nights over San Diego (81-75) and the hosts Loyola
Marymount (77-69). The Broncos then played their home opener on Tuesday night
and needed double overtime to take care of Montana, 72-67.
Wisconsin has done nothing to disprove its No. 3 ranking early in the campaign
with blowout victories over Northern Kentucky (62-31), Chattanooga (89-45) and
Green Bay (84-60). This matchups marks the final game of the Badgers’ season-
opening four-game homestand, and they have won 16 straight non-conference
regular-season games at the Kohl Center.
The Broncos and the Badgers have never before faced off in men’s basketball.
The Broncos led for a total of 24 seconds during regulation in their contest
with Montana but managed to tie the game and force the first overtime on a
pair of Anthony Drmic free throws with 1:06 to play. After Drmic forced
another period with a game-tying 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in the first
overtime, they finally put the game away by scoring the final five points in
the second extra session. Drmic led the way with a game-high 29 points on 9-
of-17 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free-throw line. Nick Duncan (15
points) was the only other player in double figures for a team that shot only
33.3 percent from the field.
On the season, Boise State is actually getting outshot by its opponents from
the field, 43.1 percent to 41.9 percent, but it still boasts a +6.3 scoring
margin thanks to a +4.0 turnover margin and eight 3-pointers per outing. Drmic
is the catalyst, scoring 20.0 ppg on 50 percent shooting while also leading
the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg). Mikey Thompson (12.0 ppg) and Duncan (10.0
ppg) are also off to impressive starts.
The Badgers only grew stronger as their latest game went along, as their nine-
point halftime lead eventually grew to as many as 27 down the stretch. They
shined on both ends of the floor, shooting 51.9 percent from the field while
holding Green Bay to a lowly 35.4 percent shooting, and they also outscored
their opponent from the free-throw line, 24-12. Nigel Hayes (25 points, 11
rebounds) and Frank Kaminsky (20 points, 15 rebounds) both had huge games in
the frontcourt with double-doubles. Kaminsky also blocked seven shots. Sam
Dekker chipped in 19 points to the winning effort.
Wisconsin has been nothing short of dominant this season, shooting 51.6
percent from the field for 78.3 ppg while holding opponents to only 31.6
percent shooting and 45.3 ppg. Dekker leads the way with 17.3 ppg. Kaminsky,
the Preseason Big 10 Player of the year, averages 17.0 ppg and 12.0 rpg, while
Hayes puts up 15.3 ppg and 11.3 rpg. All three leading scorers shoot at least
55 percent from the floor.