UW Health Sports Medicine 

"The Voice" with Matt Lepay

This figures to be an interesting few days in the world of Badger football and men'sThumbnail image for the_voiceSM.jpg basketball. Before the broadcast crew begins its "Adventures in Hawaii Part 2," a quick word about Wednesday night's much anticipated hoops tussle with Duke.

I would hope the Kohl Center has some energy for this one. I've heard some fans grumble that there are times when the Badgers' home arena seems more like a library than a sports facility.

It certainly has yet to hurt the home team's record, which is crazy good under Bo Ryan, but let's face it, a little noise would be welcomed. My guess is the crowd will deliver. No doubt the Badgers would appreciate the help. The Blue Devils are off to a 6-0 start, including a 68-57 victory against UConn for the NIT Season Tip-Off Championship.

The book on Mike Krzyewski's team is that it might not be quite as athletic as some of his previous squads, but it is big and still very very good. You have to respect any team shooting better than 40 percent from three-point range, led by Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler. Duke's size has helped it to a plus-12 rebounding advantage, and the Blue Devils share the ball well, averaging more than 16 assists a game.

When it comes to the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, this is the game Badger fans have been waiting to see. Without question, the fan base has grown quite a bit in the last several years, but this is the type of game even the casual fan wants to see in person. If you do not already have a ticket, good luck getting one.

The morning after the Duke game, Mike Lucas and I head back to Hawaii for this Saturday's regular season finale for the Badger football team. A few weeks ago, this game was shaping up as little more than an exhibition, with little or no meaning for postseason play. Not so anymore. The Warriors are rolling, winners of four straight games, including last Saturday's thrilling 24-17 victory against Navy. Hawaii needs a win on Saturday to become bowl eligible, and the Badgers are still gunning for a 10-win season. A victory this week, plus another win in the bowl game will get them to that total.

Under Barry Alvarez, the Badgers visited Hawaii in years when the Warriors were struggling. In 1996, Ron Dayne was a man among boys, rushing for 339 yards in a 59-10 rout. Had Dayne played more in the second half, he could have rushed for 500 yards with ease. In 2000, the Badgers rolled to a 34-18 victory, overcoming some frustrating early penalty calls along the way. In 2005, the game was tight in the third quarter before Wisconsin pulled away to a 41-24 victory.

This game could be much more difficult. In the previous two visits, the Badgers faced quarterbacks Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang. This year it is Bryant Moniz, who has played well after starter Greg Alexander went down with a season-ending knee injury early in the season. The Warriors love to throw the ball, which will make for another tough test for the UW defense. The Hawaii defense also is playing well of late, shutting down Navy's triple-option offense in the second half.

This type of trip is something Badger players always look forward to taking. They will visit Pearl Harbor, as well as some other sights. That should be enjoyable as well as educational. They also are aware that they will be in for quite a game Saturday night, against a determined opponent that has battled through some key injuries to put itself in position to play in a bowl game. Only the Badgers stand in the way.