Virginia Cavaliers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 20th 2023

Wisconsin South meets Wisconsin North on Monday when the Virginia Cavaliers face the Badgers in Florida at the Fort Myers Tip-Off event. The Cavaliers (4-0) are coached by Wisconsinite Tony Bennett and have three Badger State natives in the rotation with starting guards Reece Beekman (Milwaukee) and Andrew Rohde (Brookfield) and sixth man Leon Bond III (Wauwatosa). The Badgers (2-2) are also coached by a Wisconsinite, Greg Gard, but only one of their top seven scorers is a native of the state, starting guard Max Klesmit with 6.0 points per game. Bennett and Gard worked together as assistant coaches at Wisconsin under Bo Ryan during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. The winner of Monday’s game will face either West Virginia or SMU on Wednesday, with the losers meeting in the consolation game. Coming off Thursday’s 62-33 victory against Texas Southern in Charlottesville, Va., the unbeaten Cavaliers are giving up just 51.0 points on 33.5 percent shooting so far this season. Virginia’s signature defense covered up its season-high 11 turnovers and season-worst 31.3 percent shooting (5 of 16) from 3-point range against the Tigers. “We’re flying around really well,” said Virginia’s Ryan Dunn, who delivered 15 points, four blocks and three steals in Thursday’s win. “We’re recovering a lot, and although that’s really good for us, I know we’re gonna play against way better teams.

“We have Wisconsin coming up, we have SMU or West Virginia. They’re great teams. And some of the lapses that we’ve had, we can’t have against those teams.” Wisconsin broke a two-game losing streak with a 78-68 victory against Robert Morris on Friday night in Madison. Tyler Wahl and reserve John Blackwell scored 18 points apiece and 7-footer Steven Crowl had 16 points and eight rebounds. The Badgers outscored the Colonials 42-16 in the paint and attempted 40 free throws. They will look to repeat that strategy against a smaller Virginia lineup. “That means you’re attacking the basket,” Gard said. “… That’s a good recipe. If you’re not shooting it well, you can still score points by putting the ball near the basket and getting fouled.” Virginia is 4-2 all-time against Wisconsin, including the Cavaliers’ 53-46 win in the championship game of the 2018 Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the most recent meeting. –Field Level Media

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