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Buffalo Bulls Head to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 10: UB (7-2) vs Wisconsin (11-1)
Date - December 28th Last Meeting - Never
Time - 8:00 PM
Opponent League League: Big Ten
Venue - Kohl Center Opponent Rankings - RPI (9), AP(6)

The last time the Bulls took on a top 10 team they carried a lead for the better part of the game. Of course the last 12 minutes or so completely belonged to Kentucky but in that game the Bulls showed that when they are on their game they can ball with any team in the country.

Hopefully the Badgers have been too busy to pay attention to when UB almost did at Rupp Arena. Given that Buffalo is their last out of conference game before starting Big Ten play the Bulls might be able to catch Wisconsin looking ahead to their new years day game against Penn State.

In their last game out, against Niagara the Bulls overcame in a sloppy start for both sides and threatened to pull away time and time again before breaking the visitors five minutes into the second and ultimately sealing an 88-62 victory.

The Niagara game setn UB to 7 wins and two losses, which is about as good as one could have hoped for a team that lost Javon McCrea, Joshua Freelove, and Jarod Oldham to graduation. As the season goes on second year coach Bobby Hurley's system seems more and more natural for the Bulls.

UB has had back to back games where Lamonte Beardon and Shannon Evans combined for 15 or more assists. It's a sign that the guard oriented offense, as opposed to UB's old forward heavy system, has taken root.

On the other side is Wisconsin Badgers coach Bo Ryan, who has been in Madison since 2001, at which point he had only been removed from division III coaching for two seasons.

Under Ryan the Wisconsin Swing offense has led to three Big Ten Titles and six trips to the sweet sixteen or better. While they don't have an NCAA title to their name their 321–121 record is one of the best in college basketball over that span.

While the swing offense was not invented by Bo Ryan he did add his own wrinkles which combine a system called the Flex and on made famous at UCLA systems.

The best way to describe Wisconsin's offense is patient. All players are expected to be able to play all 5 positions and there is a constant motion with a focus on getting the ball down low for a higher percentage shot or to draw a shooting foul.

The Badgers have three players averaging 12 or more points a game and three players averaging two or more assist per game. The only intersection between those two groups is Frank Kaminsky.

Kaminsky is dangerous from anywhere on the floor, shooing .529 overall and .429 from three point land. He is also nursing a 1.5:1 Assist to Turnover ratio and has 22 blocks on the season.

Against Cal Kaminsky nailed a three point shot from the outside in answer to an 11-2 Golden Bear. The Cal run brought the bears to within eight points with under 10 minutes left. After the three point shot Wisconsin had little trouble keeping Cal at bay.

Keeping Kaminsky in check will be key if the Bulls want to take a run at Wisconsin. UB also needs to be careful of the low post shots Wisconsin works for. They use those shots to get their opponents in foul trouble and Buffalo's bench is probably not the way the Bulls will stay in the game.

Could the Bulls knock off Wisconsin?

If you had asked me that in August I would have said no way, but should they play as well as they did against Kentucky and not fall silent in the last ten minutes then an upset is not out of the question.