Battle of Unbeatens Takes Center Stage Tonight in Cancun

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

After a few days of sun, fun and all there is to enjoy in Vacation-Central, it’s a day of business for both the Wisconsin (6-0) and St. Louis (5-0) men’s basketball teams.

The battle of unbeatens in Mexico tonight where tip time from the convention center at the Hard Rock Hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Wisconsin comes in looking to start their season 7-0 for the first time under coach Bo Ryan. The last time UW opened  the season with seven consecutive wins was 1993-94 when Dick Bennett’s team rolled-off 11 straight.

Offense has been the way Wisconsin has rolled this season thus far. Bucky is averaging 80.2 points per game so far through six games which compared to 2012-2013 is up more than 15 points per contest. They lead all Big Ten programs shooting percentage (49.4%) and are knocking down three’s at a pace of 45.2%. Something Bo Ryan knows is a recipe for success, but can quickly change.

“We shot a lot of threes,” Ryan said after Wisconsin’s win over Oral Roberts. “And boy, a couple of them were halfway down. We talk about it all the time: some nights they’re not there so you have to find other ways to manufacture points.”

For perspective, last season the Badgers shot 42.0% overall and 33.0% from deep.

With the hot shooting and perfect start the season, Wisconsin has drawn plenty of National attention.

The Badgers moved up to No. 10 in the latest AP Top 25 poll and sits at No. 11 in the Coaches Poll. The Top Ten ranking is the programs highest since being ranked No. 9 in the Nov. 28, 2011 poll.

St. Louis has also started garnering some votes in the AP and Coaches Poll, though still sits slightly outside.

Saint Louis defeated Oral Roberts (72-55) and Bowling Green (74-47) at home in the first two games of the Cancun Challenge. Against ORU, senior guard Jordair Jett led the team with 15 points. In the win versus Bowling Green, senior forward Dwayne Evans scored 14 points and freshman forward chipped in 12 as the Billikens led wire-to-wire.

Topics: Bo Ryan, Cancun Challenge, Dick Bennett, Frank Kaminsky, Oral Roberts, St. Louis Billikens, UW Badgers Basketball

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