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Bruesewitz chomping at the bit

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For a UW student athlete, the sports calendar is nearly a 12-month commitment. With extra classes and workouts filling most of the summer, it's rare that guys like Mike Bruesewitz are ever off campus.

However, since the school year ended in mid-May, Bruesewitz and his teammates have been scattered to their hometowns and beyond. Most use the time to recharge their batteries and work out with friends and former high school teammates.


The clock is ticking for their return to Madison as summer classes and workouts resume on Monday, June 13.

For Bruesewitz, that's not soon enough.

"I'm pretty anxious to get back to Madison," Bruesewitz said this week from his home in the St. Paul, Minn. area. "It will be nice to have a gym open any time we need it and not have to drive 30 minutes to work out like I'm doing now."

Since emerging as a media darling during the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Bruesewitz has backed off the workouts a bit to let his knee recover. You'll remember that the soon-to-be junior averaged 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds off the bench during the tournament, but did so on a sprained knee, which he suffered during the Big Ten tournament.

Just recently Bruesewitz has ramped up the training again and has admitted that it's been a lot of work.

"After sitting out the last two months, it's been a struggle to get going again," he admitted. "My knee is completely fine, but my body just isn't used to the workouts yet. There is plenty of motivation for me and for our team, so we're all excited to get back to Madison and get going again."

Dukan to play for U-20 Croatian National Team

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Wisconsin sophomore Duje Dukan is taking his talents to Spain.

Dukan will be spending a few weeks this summer playing for the Croatian National Team in the U-20 European Championships in Bilbao, Spain from July 14-24. Dukan, who was born in Split, Croatia, has dual citizenship in Croatia and the United States.

101106MBB-6091-13.jpg"I'm really excited about getting an opportunity to play for a national team and representing a county should be an unbelievable experience," Dukan said. "I'm going in with an open mind and I know that I'm going to have to learn on the fly."

Dukan will travel to Croatia on Thursday, June 2 and spend the first two weeks in a tryout/training setting.  The Croatian team will then play a few exhibition games before participating in the European Championships. Croatia is paired in Pool B with Latvia, France and Sweden.

The Deerfield, Ill., native was approached last summer about playing with the Croatian National Team, but after talking to head coach Bo Ryan decided to turn down the opportunity, instead enrolling in summer classes at UW and training in Madison with his new teammates.

When the Croatian National Team came calling again this summer, Ryan gave Dukan his blessing to play in the European Championships.

While international competition will be a new experience for Dukan, playing in a European setting won't be.

"My family has spent time in Europe every summer and while we're over there I've trained and practiced with one of the local teams," Dukan explained. "There are some rule changes in international basketball, a different ball and the game in general is just a little different, but being that I've been in that environment a little will hopefully help with the learning curve."

As a freshman, Dukan appeared in just eight games for the Badgers and is looking forward to the chance to get game minutes.

"I think this experience will help me out because I'll get to face the top European competition in my age group," Dukan added. "If I have aspirations of playing professional basketball after college, this will help me gauge my game a little. Also, this will definitely help for next year. I didn't play a lot of minutes last season, so just getting some game situations and play should help."

Where in the world is Jon Leuer?

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At the very least, former Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer is getting a great tour of the United States. At the very best, he's turning some heads and positioning himself as a first-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Leuer_practice.jpgWith the draft about one month away (June 23 in Newark, N.J.), Leuer is on a whirlwind tour training and working out in front of scouts from all 30 NBA franchises. Leuer began his NBA boot camp with private training in Chicago and Los Angeles, before heading back to Chicago for the NBA pre-draft combine on May 19-20.

In front of scouts and general managers from every club, Leuer went through a series of drills, interviews and tests. Of the 60 players in attendance, Leuer measured as the tallest, at 6-foot-11.5 inches with shoes on (6-10 in socks) and 223.2 pounds.

Here were Leuer's other measurements and test scores:

Wingspan - 7'0"
Body fat - 5.4%
Hand length - 8.8"
Hand width - 9.8"
Standing vertical - 29.5"
Max vertical - 36.5"
Bench Press (225 lb.) - 14 reps
Lane agility - 10.82 seconds
Modified lane agility - 5.34 seconds
3/4 court sprint - 3.36 seconds

Leuer posted the best time among post players (10th-lowest time overall) in the lane agility drill at 10.82 seconds. In addition, only 12 of the other 59 players posted more reps in the 225-pound bench press than Leuer's 14.

ESPN Insider Chad Ford's was among those impressed with Leuer at the NBA combine. Ford tweeted "Jon Leuer tested as a much better athlete than you'd think. 36.5" vert. 10.82 lane agility. 14 reps on bench. Not bad for a 6' 11.5" guy."

During ESPN's telecast of the combine, analyst Len Elmore had positive things to say about Leuer.

"He is an extraordinarily skilled guy for a guy his size, particularly on the perimeter," said Elmore, who was part of the broadcast team that covered UW's Sweet 16 game against Butler. "He handles it, goes to the basket strong and certainly shoots it with range ... this is a guy who has shown time and time again he knows how to score. And he knows also how to be able to play some defense on the perimeter despite being 6-10 ... I think he's got some skill and I think he is worth a strong look in the first round."

VIDEO: Watch Bucks announcer Jim Paschke's interview with Leuer at the combine

After the combine, Leuer has been travelling back and forth from individual team workouts, auditioning for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. The reports again seem to point to scouts being surprised by Leuer's athleticism and ability to play on the perimeter.

"One of the things I've been hearing after the workouts is that I'm more athletic than teams thought," Leuer told Minnesota media after his workout with the Timberwolves. "I know I can shoot it. That's always been one of my strengths as a big man."

ESPN.com currently has Leuer rated as the 11th-best power forward and listed as a "first-round bubble pick."

Leuer figures he has somewhere between 10-20 more workouts on the schedule, including the Boston Celtics on June 1. The tour continues...

Bo Ryan reacts to playing UNC in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

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When the Big Ten Conference announced the pairings for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Tuesday, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan did not have to go far to hear the Badgers' draw. Ryan and the conference's other 11 head coaches have been in Chicago this week at the Big Ten meetings.

2010_BT.ACC.jpgRyan was pleased to find out that Wisconsin will face North Carolina in the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Nov. 30 in Chapel Hill, N.C.). In between sessions at the Big Ten meetings, Ryan weighed in on what it means to take one of college basketball's blue bloods.

"Being pitted against North Carolina, one of the more storied programs in all of college basketball, is exciting," Ryan said. "We get a chance to match up against a very good program in a venue that is a great place to play.

"That's why they call it the Big Ten/ACC Challenge because you're always going to be challenged and this will be quite a test. North Carolina could very possibly be the No. 1 team in the nation when we play them."

Ryan's Badgers have won each of their last six games against ACC foes, including "Challenge" wins over Virginia Tech, Duke and NC State in each of the last three seasons.

"I think being paired with North Carolina shows respect for our players and our program and what we've accomplished," Ryan added. "Having this game on our schedule stays in line with what we try to do in putting together a competitive non-conference schedule and prepares us for the always difficult Big Ten."

UW's trip to the Dean Dome rounds out a 2011-12 non-conference schedule that is also highlighted by playing in the Chicago Invitational Tournament and hosting both Marquette and UNLV.

Field of 16: Tweeting 16 observations until tip-off

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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- In honor of the Badgers' appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, @BadgerMBBall sent out 16 Tweets with observations and commentary leading up to the fourth-round match-up between No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 8 Butler.

Patrick Herb was with the team in New Orleans and you can follow him here.

If you're not a follower, why not? But here's what you've missed...

16. One of the loosest teams you'll find, jokes begin upon landing. Whose lonely shoes arrived early? #Fieldof16 http://twitpic.com/4c8ews

15. Badgers doing 2-a-days in March? Yup, practiced at home this AM then at Tulane in PM. Did same in Tucson. #stickwithwhatworks #Fieldof16

14. Incredible seafood gumbo at the team meals. They're bringing the flavor of NOLA to us (9 bowl limit boys). #Fieldof16

13. ESPN's Rick Reilly was re-creating Bo Ryan's golf swing for Jordan, Jon & Keaton. He might have used the word Barkley. #Fieldof16

12. Bo Ryan to his good buddy and redhead Pete Gillen "Mike Bruesewitz is the first red-haired guy I've known with talent." #Fieldof16

11. UW always ends shoot-around with half-court shooting contests, bigs vs smalls. Gavinski & Leuer both made 1 for the win. #Fieldof16

10. Guys may take cable car tour of French Qtr. Nankivil: "it's like Jurassic Park, fun to look but u don't wanna touch anything" #Fieldof16

9. It's Gameday! Lots of down time with late start. That means sleeping in, breakfast & study table: http://twitpic.com/4ctjmg #Fieldof16

8. Open container laws in New Orleans. Just spotted Keaton Nankivil walking thru French Qtr with an open bottle... of Pedialyte. #Fieldof16

7. Scouting report at 3:50 but ALL 15 guys were there watching Butler film 30 minutes early. #Focus #Fieldof16 http://twitpic.com/4cwggl

6. Long lines outside New Orleans Arena. Saw lots of you in the French Qtr today, Badger fans. Now get here early and turn it red #Fieldof16

5. Badger cheerleaders sitting among Butler cheer squad watching Florida-BYU. Not much conversation, though. #whycan'twebefriends #Fieldof16

4. Badgers are in the house. Game on in NOLA at 8:57 on TBS. #Fieldof16 http://twitpic.com/4cxkfx

3. Bo Ryan: "It takes contributions from every source to get where u are going." UW bench avg 16.5 pts in AZ (9.7 pts in Big Ten) #Fieldof16 

2. Jon Leuer gave his pregame speech. Message was, this is what we've done all the hard work for. EARN the right to play again! #Fieldof16

1. Time to tip it off in New Orleans. Follow Badgers-Bulldogs live with the Gameday Blog: http://bit.ly/dKPjMh #Fieldof16

Field of 32: Tweeting 32 observations until tip-off

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Badgers advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament Round of 32, and that meant @BadgerMBBall sent out 32 Tweets with observations and commentary leading up to the second round NCAA tournament game between No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 5 Kansas State.

Patrick Herb was with the team in Tucson and you can follow him here.

If you're not a follower, why not? But here's what you've missed...

32. Bo Ryan postgame: "I'm not happy to just be here & I don't want to be around people who are. We're here for a reason."

31. Watching games in the locker rm before practice, Brett Valentyn deadpanned "George Mason could be this year's George Mason."

30. Q Smith doing his best Jacob Pullen imitation at practice (minus the beard) http://twitpic.com/4as8bx

29. We just found out the team is scheduled to arrive back in Madison on Sunday at 4:15 a.m. Prepare the welcome party.

28. Best UW hoops behind the scenes access video I've seen. Amazing access to the team: http://ow.ly/4hADJ

27. A member of the Wis. media just tripped over a giant light standard in the press conference causing near chaos & Hi comedy

26. When asked if there are any roads in WI that he doesn't know, Bo said "I don't think so cuz otherwise I'd know about them."

25. Tremendous food at hotel. Eating Margherita flatbread pizza Bo Ryan: "I don't even know what this is but I can't get enough"

24. Remember the near chaos in tweet 27? Jordan Taylor gets to the bottom of it with the perpetrator http://twitvid.com/G7KQG

23. Wake up call was at 9:15, then breakfast, watch a little ball, scouting report, eat again, get taped and tangle with K-State.

22. I'm not sure if K-State scout Gary Close has slept either of last 2 nights... Still cutting film http://twitpic.com/4b3tz3

21. Redshirt freshman Evan Anderson: "I could never live here. You could never mow your lawn."

20. CBS reporter Sam Ryan moved to tears by strength of @BValentyn15's family & sister Kenzi. Cross those fingers tonite Kenzi!

19. Jordan Taylor was rebuffed at the hotel spa upon learning the cheapest massage was $150. Per diem only goes so far.

18. Going over the scouting report on K-State, Keaton Nankivil learning his assignments: http://twitpic.com/4b5e52

17. Wis Athletic Director Barry Alvarez is in AZ supporting the team and getting a little pool time.

16. Gotta love police escorts at the NCAA tournament: http://twitpic.com/4b76fr

15. Focused look as the team boards the buses, but they can't help but smile as they exit hotel and hear On Wisconsin! Playing

14. Badgers are welcomed back to the McKale Center and sitting in stands watching SDSU vs Temple

13. Bo Ryan just said the work Big Ten teams beating each other up this year is paying dividends in tourney. BT is 5-2 in NCAA

12. Team looks loose groovin in the locker room to Method Man's Da Rockwilder and Kanye's All of the Lights. Tradition.

11. Badgers getting anxious in locker room as SDSU and Temple game goes overtime. They have a game clock but no tv in there.

10. NOBODY better at keeping a pressure situation loose than UW strength coach Scott Hettenbach. He or Evan Anderson's dancing

9. "Saddle up"... Badgers take the floor here in in Tucson.

8. Official tip time is now 8:06 pm for Wisconsin vs. Kansas State on TNT.

7. NCAA didn't have to clear the arena before tonight's game so the atmosphere is much better as the team's warm up. Fans buzzing

6. Starting lineup for the Badgers (this should look familiar): Taylor, Gasser, Jarmusz, Leuer, Nankivil

5. For the Wildcats: Jacob Pullen, Shane Southweell, Rodney MaGruder, Jamar Samuels, Curtis Kelly

4. Have you seen KSU's mascot? I'd take Bucky any day. He has a full body. Willie Wildcat is a cat head with a man's body

3. Red out-numbers Purple at the McKale Center... of course it does!

2. Lineups time! http://twitpic.com/4b8vdr #Fieldof32

1. The Gameday Blog is live from courtside at the McKale Center. Time to toss it up. http://bit.ly/gSU5YC

BLOG: Media boards the Badger Bandwagon

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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Reaching the Sweet 16 can do many things for a college basketball program. Energize the fan-base, boost recruiting, sell tickets for the following season and of course set up a chance to bring home a trophy.

Reaching the second weekend of the NCAA tournament also means a lot of attention from the national media. The Wisconsin Badgers are realizing that here in New Orleans.

110323MBB-6980-Media.jpegA quick roll call of the national media assembled here in the Crescent City reveals: Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn and Kelly Anderson, ESPN's Andy Katz and Rick Reilly, Fox Sports' Jeff Goodman, Marlen Garcia of USA Today, the New York Times' Pete Thamel and Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, among others.

Between beignets on Bourbon Street and jazz joint sojourns, the media have taken a liking to Bo Ryan and his Badgers. While not all journalists may agree on the beauty of "Wisconsin's style" there is certainly a consensus that "Wisconsin wins."

And winning is beautiful.

Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn has Wisconsin No. 4 on his Sweet 16 Power Rankings and features a great video of Mike Bruesewitz discussing his rust-colored coif.

Winn also examines the unique hand-shake that Jordan Taylor and Tim Jarmusz employ (with video) in his NCAA Tournament Style Archive.

ESPN Andy Katz knows that the other three teams in New Orleans may have interesting storylines, but the Badgers are no afterthought.

Katz's ESPN.com colleague Ted Miller explains how there's nothing complicated about winning the "Wisconsin way."

A USA Today column thinks Keaton Nankivil's black eye is a perfect symbol for Wisconsin basketball.

The Sporting News has recognized UW's effectiveness and has recognized it all the way to the Final Four.

Chicago Tribune writer Chris Hine reminds us to 'Slow down and enjoy the pace of Wisconsin basketball.'

Colin Fly of the Associated Press has seen the success of the swing.

Bo Ryan dropped by ESPN's Rome is Burning recently to give his 'take.'

On break from covering Gopher basketball, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Myron P. Medcalf is following UW's Minnesota natives, beginning with Jordan Taylor and his inner toughness.

Field of 68: Tweeting 68 observations until tip-off

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- In honor of the 2011 NCAA Tournament's 68 teams, @BadgerMBBall will be sending out 68 Tweets with observations and commentary leading up to Thursday's NCAA tournament game between No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 13 Belmont.

Patrick Herb is with the team in Tucson and you can follow along here to get the updates in real time.

If you're not a follower, why not? But here's what you've missed...

68. Asst. Coach Gary Close's 1st coaching job was at Fenster in Tucson in '82. Had to coach on an outdoor court.

67. Airplane seating chart (front to back): upperclassmen, staff, families, freshmen, cheerleaders, band & last row Coach Ryan.

66. Movie of choice is Coming to America. Except for coach Greg Gard, he's plowing his way thru a stack of Belmont game film.

65. Touchdown Tucson! It's a beautiful 82 degrees and windy... But they tell me "it's a dry wind"

64. Wquinton Smith gets too close to an Arizona Christmas tree http://twitpic.com/49vnx4

63. NCAA tournament trips aren't always as glamorous as you think. Getting court time at Salpointe HS http://twitpic.com/49w535

62. Phoenix native Ryan Evans played Salpointe during his HS days. Also watched his brother play in this gym.

61. Good night's sleep at out desert oasis. Nice to be 2nd-highest seed at your site. How nice? My bed as 9 pillows.

60. First look at a quiet McKale Center. This place will be buzzing in a few hours. http://twitpic.com/4a34xx

59. Overheard: McKale Center looks and feels like Taco Bell Arena in Boise where UW played in 2009 NCAA tourney.

58. Lots of tall men in red adidas gear floating in the hotel's lazy river this morning.

57. Lazy river racing? Rumor has it @benbrust was coordinating pit stops and wearing a @kevinharvick sponsored swimsuit.

56. Asst. coach Lamont Paris was just mistaken for Jordan Taylor. A "fan" was praising him for how he took over against Ohio State

55. Nankivil at lunch "This is the best guacamole I've ever had. I'm eating it straight from the bowl." Don't tell health inspctr

54. Apparently not everybody was in the lazy river. Evan Anderson couldn't tear himself away from Ice Age 2. Who can blame him?

53. Badger poll: should Rob Wilson shave his mustache? Apparently he's on the fence.

53. Coach Ryan and Steve Fischer chatting during San Diego State's open practice. http://twitpic.com/4a4cgm

52. K-State's Frank Martin ribbed Bo Ryan at pre-tourney meeting telling him not to talk so we aren't stuck here all afternoon.

51. NCAA might want to rethink cans of body spray as swag for bunch of college guys. Badgers' locker room smells extra fresh now.

50. Press conference time for Bucky. Apparently media doesn't like to sit in the front row. http://twitpic.com/4a4xmu

49. Can't find truTV? Brett Valentyn will tell you tonight at 10 (Spoiler alert: He has notes...) http://twitpic.com/4a50vp

48. Jordan Taylor: "It's a new season. We've put our previous games behind us & it doesn't matter what you've done or not done.

47. Bo Ryan "I got a 'thanks for making the tourney' from our band & cheerleaders. I think it was because they were at the pool."

46. Reggie Miller, Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner and Sam Ryan will be calling the UW game http://twitpic.com/4a5pbm

45. Reggie Miller talked to Mike Bruesewitz quickly after practice telling him to take care of the number (jersey #31)

44. Riding back from practice onboard Ryan's Express bus. Just a coincidence?

43. Got the NCAA patches today, equipment guru Gary Poels will be up late putting them on the jerseys

42. Bruesewitz after tonight's practice "Once I realized I was fine, I was back to my normal ways of going 100 miles per hour."

41. JP Gavinski turns 23 tomorrow... he's celebrating by watching TV with roommate @BValentyn15. Quite a party

40. Jordan Taylor grabs the mic and delves deeper into Rob Wilson's mustache dilemma http://twitvid.com/SZ8E8

39. Gameday baby!!! March Madness is officially here.

38. JP Gavinski and Brett Valentyn might be he oldest roommate duo in UW history. Combined 46 years old today

37. Trainer Henry Perez-Guerra found a mule deer on his hike this morn. Deer was limping so he taped his ankle and sent him off

36. By request from @krabbenhoftjoe, JP Gavinski's "tourney stache" ... horribly beautiful. http://twitpic.com/4ad54h

35. A little @BadgerFootball karma tonight as O'Brien Schofield and Dan Moore will be in the building

34. Another gorgeous day in Tucson but the team is under strict orders to stay out of the sun. Good thing there's hoops on

33. U don't have to be a UW fan to like this. Reminds us to b thankful. I know Terrell will be watching tonite http://ow.ly/4gDXq

32. Tucson site is about to get underway with Penn State-Temple. Team will watch for 20 minutes before scouting report begins.

31. Temple's Fran Dunphy joked with Bo Ryan yesterday "at least we don't have to play Cornell" (they knocked out TEM & UW in '10)

30. Scouting report time... The guys will know Belmont inside and out after this: http://twitpic.com/4ae9og

29. How warm in Tucson? Warm enough to overheat an iPhone streaming March Madness on Demand

28. Should be easy to spot UW scorekeeper Otto Puls on TV tonight. He's the one with a tomato for a head. #NoSunBlock

27. Pregame meal menu: salad, pasta, chicken breasts, hot beef sandwiches, fries, carrots and cookies (staff only).

26. Injury update: UW has two cheerleaders doubtful for tonight's game. The band is reporting at full strength

25. No. 4 seeded Louisville gets beat by Morehead State. Sooo... we've reached our 13 over 4 quota right?

24. Taping time in Henry's mock training room (see hotel bedroom).

23. Did you know the UW players always dress at the hotel in full uniform and warm-ups before getting on the bus to the game?

22. Bucky and the band send off the Badgers at the hotel. On the bus now as game time is getting close.

21. Some good news: Mike Bruesewitz has been medically cleared to play vs. Belmont. How much he plays is up to coaches now.

20. A sweet send-off for the Badgers in Tucson, courtesy of Leckrone & Co.: http://twitvid.com/SUHQT

19. Michael Wilbon is in the house. Wonder if he brought the giant Bruesewitz head from the PTI set for Mike to autograph?

18. The Badgers have arrived at the McKale Center. Bo Ryan and the boys watching SDSU vs. No. Colorado now. http://twitpic.com/4ag9yz

17. Ryan Evans: "We're staying at a JW Marriott. We're eating good, living good, looking good." Now let's play good (well).

16. Bo Ryan on Belmont "They remind me of Northwestern with a better inside presence."

15. SDSU beats No. Colorado. Reggie Miller gives NoCo a standing ovation.

14. Staff sweeping the arena in between games. Fans have to exit and come right back in. Tip off time is still 6:27 p.m. (CT).

13. "Saddle up" the Badgers say before taking the court. Gates open in 5 min. http://twitpic.com/4agogr

12. No surprises in the Badgers' starting five: Taylor, Gasser, Jarmusz, Leuer and Nankivil get the nod from Coach Ryan

11. There are 4 Arizona jerseys hanging here from when UW beat Zona on the 2000 Final 4 run. (Arenas, Walton, Jefferson & Wright)

10. Members of the Belmont student section just walked in and most are wearing sweater vests like their coach Rick Byrd does.

9. Badgers are back in the locker room for last-minute words of wisdom. 10 minutes to tip-off in Tucson.

8. Belmont's starting lineup is set: Ian Clark, Drew Hanlen, Mick Hedgepeth, Trevor Noak, Jon House

7. Your officials for tonight: Bryan Kersey, Jeff Anderson, Darron George

6. Belmont's mascot is named Bruiser, but I'd still take Bucky

5. Our first 'On, Wisconsin' of the day from the band ... will be hearing plenty of that tonight.

4. Best managers in the Big Ten are ready for battle #TowelUp http://twitpic.com/4agxrl

3. Coach Ryan goes with tan suit, red tie for tonight. Always a good choice

2. Here we gooooooo... Gametime baby! http://twitpic.com/4agyfr

1. Our 68 tweets are in the books ... now it's 40 minutes of hoops. Follow live with the Gameday Blog: http://bit.ly/eDGE4V

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Wisconsin sophomore Mike Bruesewitz participated in full practice Wednesday as the Badgers continued preparation for their second-round NCAA tournament game against Belmont.

Bruesewitz went through Wisconsin's open practice at the McKale Center and also fully participated in the Badgers' one-hour closed practice at a nearby high school.

Bruesewitz remains a game-time decision for Thursday's contest vs. Belmont.

He had this to say Wednesday evening:

"I was a little timid at the start, but I guess that's to be expected," Bruesewitz said. "As practice went on I felt a lot more confident and felt better out there. I basically got the cobwebs out after not playing for a few days."

"I was able to go through possessions with the team and as practice went on I felt like I got back to playing like myself. I got on the floor once diving for a ball, went to the offensive glass and got a few offensive rebounds and knocked a couple people around. Once I realized I was fine, I was back to my normal ways of going 100 miles per hour."

"I've been icing my knee after practice, but it hasn't swollen up and feels good."

"I felt we had a really good practice today and guys seemed excited and ready to get this thing rolling."

UW's Class of 2011 knows how to win

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It's March Madness time in the college world, but it's also the start of championship season in high school hoops. With that in mind, let's check in on Wisconsin's Class of 2011.

The Badgers will welcome four freshman to campus this summer: Traevon Jackson, Frank Kaminsky, George Marshall and Jared Uthoff.

The common denominator on these four... winners. The combined record of the four schools? 86-9, winning 90.5 percent of their games.

TRAEVON JACKSON (6-2, 200, Guard, Westerville High School, Westerville, Ohio)
After starting the season 19-0, Jackson's Westerville team closed the regular season with its only loss of the year, a 66-64 bump to Oletangy Liberty. The team rebounded by opening the playoffs with 46 and 65-point wins over Lancaster and Watkins Memorial, respectively. Jackson has been consistent, averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3.5 steals per game.

FRANK KAMINSKY (6-10, 225, Forward, Benet Academy, Lisle, Ill.)
Kaminsky has elevated Benet Academy to a No. 6 national ranking in the USA Today Super 25. Kaminsky's squad enters the postseason with a record of 27-0 and riding the momentum of a 58-54 win over previously No. 1 Chicago Simeon. Kaminsky tallied 19 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 assists in that 1 vs. 2 bout.

(6-0, 170, Guard, Chicago Brooks College Prep, Chicago, Ill.)
Marshall missed six weeks with a broken hand, but returned in early February helping Chicago Brooks (23-3) win the Chicago Public League Championship.

Marshall led Brooks with 22 points and five 3-pointers in a win over Chicago Bogan then hit the game-winning jumper with 0:04 left to knock off Chicago Farragut in the semifinals three nights later. As an encore, Marshall tallied a game-high 23 points in a championship game win over Whitney Young.

(6-8, 195, Forward, Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Uthoff's team may not have the most impressive record of the four, but his individual numbers are probably the best. A 1,000-point scorer for Jefferson, Uthoff has been over 20 points in 12 consecutive games. Since mid-January, Uthoff has averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game.

As a team, Jefferson (17-5) is moving its way through the Iowa Class 4A bracket and faces No. 2 Des Moines Hoover on March 9.