The Milwaukee Bucks opened up preseason play on Monday, defeating their division rival Chicago Bulls by a score of 93-91. Next on the agenda is a return trip to Madison as the Bucks will take part in a preseason game at the home of the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team for the second straight season.
- Who: Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks
- When: Saturday, October 8
- Where: Kohl Center
- Time: 7:30 pm CT
The Bucks defeated the Timberwolves in last year’s meeting at the Kohl Center, knocking off Minnesota 106-88 in front of over 12,000 fans. Before you tune in or attend Saturday’s meeting, get yourself acquainted with the teams and environment with these quick facts regarding the matchup.
Can history repeat itself?
It was just one year ago since the Bucks played their last game in Madison, which was their first since 1999. The Bucks handled the Timberwolves fairly easily, winning the game by 18 in front of an ‘electric’ atmosphere.
“I thought it was a great atmosphere for a pro game to be here and hopefully we can come back,” head coach Jason Kidd said following last year’s game. “I hope the people that came were entertained.”
Man what a great turnout in Madison! The energy was amazing ! Carried us the whole night!
— John Henson (@Johnhenson31) October 21, 2015
Although new to this century, the Bucks were fairly active playing basketball in Madison during their early days. Milwaukee played in 25 regular season games, seven playoff games and five preseason games in Madison during the 1960s and 1970s. A few exhibitions in the ’80s and ’90s were the last encounter the team had in Madison before last year’s meeting with the Timberwolves.
Can the Bucks make it two straight wins in Madison?
Tickets for this Saturday’s game can still be purchased. Prices have been ranged from $18-$47, while students can purchase a discounted rate at various levels.
General seating tickets can be viewed and purchased here, or by calling 1-800-GO-BADGERS or (608) 262-1440, or in-person by visiting the McGinnis Family Athletic Ticket Office located at 1440 Monroe St., near Gate 1 of Camp Randall Stadium.
Current students may purchase up to two tickets in the $18/$25 levels for $13 each. Students can visit the Badgers’ ticket website and use the promo code “bucksstudents” to purchase these seats.
Devin Harris returns to Madison
Dallas Mavericks point guard and former Wisconsin men’s basketball standout Devin Harris will be making his return to the Kohl Center on Saturday. Harris spent three years with Wisconsin, helping lead the Badgers to three Big Ten championships and scoring a total of 1,425 points, good for 11th all-time in the team’s history.
Drafted fifth overall in the 2004 draft, Harris will be entering 13th season in the NBA, his third straight with the Mavericks. Harris was traded to Dallas following the 2004 draft and spent three-plus seasons with the team before being traded to the (then) New Jersey Nets. Harris also spent time in Utah, as well as one season with the Atlanta Hawks. He was named to the 2009 NBA All-Star Team as a member of the Nets when he averaged 21.3 points, 6.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
Out of Wauwatosa East High School, Harris earned Mr. Basketball for the state of Wisconsin and spent three seasons with the Badgers before declaring for the draft after his junior season. He was named the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year as well as Second Team All-American. His junior year and final season with the Badgers, the team finished 25-7 and were champions of the Big Ten Tournament. Despite this, Wisconsin earned a six seed in the NCAA Tournament, falling in the second round to No. 3 seeded Pittsburgh 59-55.
One of his signature moments in his career was the game-winning free throw he sinked to defeat Illinois in the final regular season game of the season to give the Badgers the Big Ten title outright.
Expect Devin to receive a warm welcome from the Bucks and Badgers faithful Saturday night.
Other players return
While Harris is the only player of the two teams playing Saturday to have attended the University of Wisconsin, other players in the game carry a little history with them at the Kohl Center.
Fellow Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews, a native of Madison and James Madison Memorial High School, has had a couple games in the Kohl Center while playing for Badgers’ rival Marquette. Matthews won a state championship playing for Madison Memorial High School before sticking it to the Badgers and choosing to play his college ball over in Milwaukee for Marquette. Spending four years with the Golden Eagles, Matthews went 2-2 against the Badgers, splitting both of the games he played in at the Kohl Center.
Matthews’ former college teammate and current Bucks forward Steve Novak also spent four years with Marquette. Novak, from Brown Deer, Wisconsin, also went 2-2 agains the Badgers, but lost both games at the Kohl Center. He will be looking for his first ever win inside that building come Saturday.
Former Illinois player Deron Williams spent his time in the Big Ten around the same time Harris did, on the other end of Harris’ game-wining free throw in 2003. Williams finished 1-2 at the Kohl Center during his time in college.
Other players who have played at the Kohl Center:
- Justin Anderson – November 28, 2012: Virginia defeated Wisconsin 60-54
- Dorian Finney-Smith* – November 12, 2013: Wisconsin defeated Florida 59-53
- A.J. Hammons
- March 3, 2013: Purdue defeated Wisconsin 69-56
- March 5, 2014: Wisconsin defeated Purdue 76-70
- January 7, 2015: Wisconsin defeated Purdue 62-55
- December 29, 2015: Purdue defeated Wisconsin 61-55
- Malcolm Brogdon – November 28, 2012: Virginia defeated Wisconsin 60-54
- Miles Plumlee – December 2, 2009: Wisconsin defeated Duke 73-69
The Bucks will be looking to stay perfect following their preseason opening win versus the Bulls on Monday, while the Mavericks will be trying to get above .500 after splitting their first two games against New Orleans and Charlotte. The Bucks and Mavericks split their two regular season meetings last season.
Photo courtesy of NBA.com/Bucks