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As the regular season comes to a close, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team (13-15, 4-12 Big Ten) has some scores to settle. Earlier this month, the Badgers lost close battles with both The Ohio State (13-12, 9-7 Big Ten) and Michigan — the remaining two teams on their regular season schedule.The Badgers traveled to Columbus, Ohio just days ago and lost to the Buckeyes by only two points. But, this close loss came without the help of freshman standout Imani Lewis who was not with the team due to a death in the family. Wisconsin has a chance to avenge this close loss with a win on their home court Thursday night.The contest against Ohio State will also honor three Badger seniors and mark the last home game for Marsha Howard, Kelly Karlis and former walk-on Lexy Richardson. The seniors will be recognized prior to the game Thursday.Ohio State has rattled off three consecutive wins beating the likes of No. 23 Rutgers and Michigan State along with their win over Wisconsin. The Buckeye defense held Rutgers to a season-low 39 points during the impressive win, proving the Badgers will need a variety of scorers to keep up with Ohio State.Women’s basketball: Lewis’s return to New Jersey not enough to beat RutgersThe University of Wisconsin Women’s basketball team (13-15, 4-12 Big Ten) lacked scoring depth in their road contest with Rutgers Read…One way the Badgers will look to attack Ohio State is to speed up the game to tire the Buckeyes’ limited bench. The Buckeyes rely heavily on their starting lineup with three players averaging more than 31 minutes per game. Graduate transfer Carmen Grande has played all 40 minutes multiple times this season.Howard — the Badgers’ leading scorer — will look to leave the Kohl Center one last time with a statement victory.The following Sunday, the Badgers will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take on the Wolverines in their last tune-up game before the Big Ten tournament.In their last meeting, the Wolverines held off a late Badger run to win 76–70 in the Kohl Center.Michigan’s freshman phenom, Naz Hillmon, pitched in 20 points off the bench, while Howard scored a career-high 30 points.Men’s Basketball: Badgers fail to finish in double overtime loss at IndianaThe No. 19 University of Wisconsin Men’s basketball team (19-9, 11-6 Big Ten) lost to the Indiana Hoosiers (14-14, 5-12), Read…Michigan boasts a 7-1 record in February and hopes to continue this stretch into March and against the Badgers this weekend.Hillmon leads the team with 13.5 points per game — the second-most among freshmen in the Big Ten.Limiting Hillmon and the outside shooting of Nicole Munger could spell upset for the Badgers.Closing out the season with two wins would earn the Badgers their highest number of conference wins since the 2010-11 season. Howard and Karlis will look to leave their mark on a promising, young Badger core of Lewis, Niya Beverley and Jasmine Hale.The Badgers will host Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night and will be televised on Big Ten Network.The contest against Michigan starts at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon on BTN Plus. Both games will be available on 100.9, Badger Radio Network. read more
Record: 18-4 overall; 5-2 UFCDivision: MiddleweightTeam: Frontline AcademyThis weekend in Philadelphia, Jack Hermansson gets the bigger opportunity of his UFC career as he squares off with David Branch in the co-main event of the second event broadcast on ESPN.Headlined by a sure-fire gem between lightweight action fighters Edson Barboza and Justin Gaethje, Saturday’s return to the home of Meek Mill, Rocky Balboa and cheesesteaks is a deep, but not star-studded card that offers a lot of space for one of the numerous talented fighters set to step into the Octagon who currently operate outside of the spotlight to score a big win and take a considerable step forward.And “The Joker” could very well be that guy.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe 30-year-old middleweight enters on a tidy two-fight winning streak and having won four of his last five, with his lone loss in that stretch coming against Brazilian finisher and current light heavyweight contender, Thiago Santos. With the division in a state of flux and the opportunity there for new names to rocket into the championship chase, this weekend’s showdown with the well-respected former World Series of Fighting “Double Champ” offers Hermansson a chance to catapult himself into the Top 15 with a victory.Hermansson is one of those guys who is better than his resume looks on paper; a guy whose greatest strengths and assets don’t necessarily shine through on the page, but do whenever he steps into the cage.Case and point: his win over Thales Leites last May at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro.When you pull up the result on Sherdog or Tapology, it shows a stoppage due to strikes a little over two minutes into the third round, which is a good result against the veteran Leites, but that listing doesn’t offer up any of the details that make that particular performance so special.It doesn’t show that after a gruelling back-and-forth first round, Hermansson sustained an injury in the early moments of the second and grimaced in pain as Leites took him down along the fence and moved right into mount.It doesn’t show that Leites transitioned into a deep arm-triangle choke, one of his favorite submissions, roughly 90 seconds into the round and looked to have a victory all wrapped up. As Leites rotated looking to tighten the squeeze, Hermansson continued to defend, eventually escaping the hold, but remaining stuck under the dominate top-position grappler.It doesn’t show that the fight could have been stopped between rounds, as referee Marc Goddard was acutely aware of the fact that Hermansson was dealing with some kind of injury and double-checked with his corner that their charge was capable of continuing, nor does it show that after some early offense to start the third, Hermansson was again forced to defend a deep submission attempt by Leites, who locked up an anaconda choke that looked like it would bring the festivities to a close.It doesn’t show that Hermansson escaped the choke, avoided a guillotine attempt and climbed into mount, unloading a wave of punches and elbows that prompted Leites to duck and cover, leading to Goddard stepping in and stopping the fight or that the unheralded middleweight was in agony as he walked back to his corner following the finish, later disclosing that he fractured his ribs in the first round.That kind of toughness and heart doesn’t show up when the wins and losses are listed, but it’s a huge part of what makes Hermansson an intriguing fighter to watch this weekend and going forward in the middleweight division.In addition to the tenacity and resilience he showed against Leites, Hermansson is solid in every facet, brandishing smooth striking, an opportunistic submission game and punishing top game, where he’s shown outstanding ground-and-pound. He’s a workmanlike fighter, but while many would take that description as a slight, I say it with the utmost respect.There are no obvious holes in Hermansson’s game and you never go into one of his fights believing he’s grossly overmatched. He’s gritty and durable and will stay in your face from start to finish, no matter if he’s giving or receiving, which isn’t something you can say about everyone on the roster.While that doesn’t sound like the description of a future title challenger or potential contender, it’s the same way most people would characterize Anthony Smith and “Lionheart” has shown he’s a legitimate threat in the light heavyweight ranks, so why can’t Hermansson do the same in the 185-pound ranks? Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThis weekend’s showdown with Branch is a step up in competition and the kind of fight Hermansson needs to win in order to climb into the rankings and set himself up for a potential run in 2019, as the Renzo Gracie black belt has established himself as a fixture in the lower third of the Top 15 and someone who is more than capable of dispatching opponents making fraudulent claims for inclusion in the middleweight rankings.With his well-round game and established toughness, Hermansson is more than capable of emerging from this weekend’s clash with a third straight victory and if he does, “The Joker” will propel himself into the mix in the 185-pound weight class and set himself up for an even greater opportunity in the second half of the year. Prior to every event, Under the Radar will cast the spotlight on an up-and-coming talent who shows the potential for growth in their division and isn’t getting enough attention as they head into battle.Name: Jack Hermansson read more