The No. 19 University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team enters the 2019 Big Ten tournament sporting a 14-6 conference record, which earned them the No. 4 seed. After earning a two-round bye, the Badgers await the winner of the Maryland and Nebraska game Friday. In the most recent national rankings, the Badgers sit at No. 15, one spot behind Louisiana State University and one spot ahead of Buffalo. As for the AP poll, Wisconsin is ranked No. 19 overall and is projected as either a fourth or fifth seed in this upcoming NCAA tournament. Accompanying Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan round out the top four seeds, therefore earning them a double-bye in the tournament. Maryland is the fifth seed and likely the opponent Wisconsin will face Friday. But Maryland still has to go through Nebraska in a Big Ten conference where anything is possible.Men’s basketball: Ethan Happ becomes first three-time All-Big Ten honoree in UW historyFor the third consecutive year, Ethan Happ earned himself a spot on the first-team All-Big Ten team. Happ becomes just Read…Iowa earned themselves the sixth seed in the tournament and await the winner of the second play-in game between No. 14 Northwestern and No. 11 Illinois. Minnesota, Ohio State, Indiana and Penn State round out the rest of the tournament field as seeds seven through ten. As for the Badgers, Khalil Iverson is playing some of the best basketball of his career, boasting back to back double-doubles in his last two games. Iverson had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa on senior night and then followed that up with a 22 point, 14 rebound outing against Ohio State in their final regular season game. Iverson has scored double figures in five of the final six games of the season after only scoring double figures in two games all season leading up to that point. This is the most crucial point of the season for a team to be playing their best basketball. If Iverson can keep these numbers up, he might be the X-factor heading down the stretch. The Badgers have three scorers averaging in double figures this season: Ethan Happ, D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison.Men’s basketball: Brevin Pritzl may be Wisconsin’s secret weapon this postseasonBrevin Pritzl was born and raised here in Wisconsin. Playing basketball at De Pere High School — just outside of Read…Davison is currently averaging 10.9 points per game and Trice is scoring 11.9 points per game. But Ethan Happ leads the way with 17.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 4.7 apg while earning himself first-team All-Big Ten honors. As leading scorers, Wisconsin’s big three have been overshadowed as of late by some of the uplifting play from players like Iverson and Brevin Pritzl. It will be crucial for the Badgers to continue scoring with their big three while still relying on depth going into the postseason.The Badgers are averaging 69.6 points per game while holding their opponents to just 61.2 points each game which is second in the Big Ten. All the games from Wednesday through Friday will be aired on the Big Ten Network. The semifinals Saturday and the championship game Sunday will be aired on CBS Sports. Catch the Badgers’ first moments of March Friday at an estimated 2 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
1 Sam Allardyce Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce insists he has no issue with Jurgen Klopp, hailing his Liverpool counterpart a ‘great character’.The pair exchanged angry words on the touchline during their teams’ previous Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light on December 30.Klopp was fuming that a challenge from Jeremain Lens on Mamadou Sakho had not resulted in a red card, prompting Allardyce to brand his managerial rival a ‘soft German’.However, Allardyce is adamant he meant no offence and is looking forward to meeting Klopp again when he takes Sunderland to Anfield on Saturday.The Black Cats chief said: “It was more about maybe German football is softer than ours when he said Jeremain Lens should have been sent off.”Allardyce also appeared to criticise Klopp in an exclusive interview on talkSPORT over Liverpool’s injury problems.But he insists his comments were misconstrued.The 61-year-old said: “I made a bit of a comment – which I perhaps shouldn’t have done – which wasn’t directed at him, really.“You journalists make a big fuss out of what was an honest answer on talkSPORT. (Host) Alan Brazil has apologised to me. When he saw the headlines, he thought they were more ridiculous than me.“I have no problem. It’s great to see him here, he’s a great character. Obviously on Saturday, I can’t wish him well, but after that, I do.”Sunderland’s need is ever more pressing with Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester City on Wearside meaning they remain four points adrift of safety with just 14 games remaining, the next three of them trips to Anfield and West Ham either side of Manchester United’s visit to the north-east.Allardyce was buoyed by an encouraging display against Manuel Pellegrini’s title-chasers, in which January signings Lamine Kone, Jan Kirchhoff and Wahbi Khazri all impressed, but is under no illusions as to the task ahead with the current bottom five – Aston Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle, Norwich and Swansea – in danger of being cast adrift.He said: “There’s a concern, there’s a huge concern. We are in a huge battle to overcome the points difference with the games running out.“Like I’ve said, we are drawing closer to the stage where a draw is no longer required, it’s a victory, and that’s where I didn’t want to be. That’s why I have gone into the market for as many players as I possibly could, because the players previously haven’t quite hit those consistent levels.“They have been very, very close on so many occasions and then just slipped up – Watford here, Southampton here, Liverpool here, West Brom away – just that odd goal that we lost by.“If we had drawn all those four or five games, we’d be on 24 points, out of the bottom three, we’d have as many games as points, and 38 points from 38 games over the last 10 years has equated to a safe position.“That’s why I have gone into the market and hopefully spent our money very wisely.” read more