WISCONSIN BADGERS (1-0)
at FLORIDA GATORS (1-0)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Florida -6.5, Total: 123
No. 22 Wisconsin gets its first taste of an early season big-time matchup when the Badgers head south to visit No. 10 Florida Wednesday night.
Both these teams rolled to 40-plus point wins in their openers as they replace key departed players. And both have had success in non-conference matchups. Last year, Wisconsin went 13-3 SU and 11-2 ATS against non-conference foes, while Florida was 15-4 SU and 9-5 ATS outside the SEC. The Gators actually did play a big early-season matchup, tipping off against Georgetown at Jacksonville’s Naval Station Mayport Friday night. They had a four-point lead at halftime before slippery conditions on the court caused the game to be called.
Can the Gators pull away at home? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. On Tuesday, the experts went a collective 8-1 ATS (89%) on Best Bets with the only loss coming in a game where two experts disagreed. For the season, the group is a collective 21-13-1 ATS (62%) on Best Bets, with all four experts at 57% ATS or better.
Wisconsin is becoming more of a frontcourt-heavy attack. PF Jared Berggren was dominant in the opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, going for 19 points (including 7-for-7 from the line), eight rebounds and four blocks in just 24 minutes. But this one could come down to how Wisconsin’s new backcourt fares against Florida’s pressure. With junior Josh Gasser out for the year with a torn ACL, redshirt freshman George Marshall is the starting point guard. Marshall is in more of a caretaker role, going for five points and two assists, with two turnovers, in the opener. Backcourt mate Ben Brust will help with ball-handling duties. He had 14 points and 11 boards against Southeast Louisiana.
As expected, Florida blew out Alabama State on Sunday. Senior G Kenny Boynton had 22 points in 22 minutes, hitting all four of his threes, while adding six boards and five assists. C Patric Young dominated inside with a double-double (12 pts, 12 reb) and PF Erik Murphy added 15 points in 19 minutes. The 6-foot-10 stretch forward was 3-for-6 from three-point land. With Wilbekin suspended, erratic SG Mike Rosario got the start and scored 14 points (4-of-7 FG, 6-of-7 FT).
Florida had clamped down on Georgetown in the one half they played last Friday, leading 27-23 at halftime and not allowing the Hoyas to attempt a single free throw. SF Will Yeguete, a phenomenal athlete and defensive presence, scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in that half. Rosario was the weak link offensively, shooting 1-for-6 from the field. Boynton had six points and Murphy seven.