MADISON — Last season, Marquette beat Wisconsin at the Kohl Center, 57-55, the first time the Badgers had dropped back-to-back non conference games in 25 seasons. The loss was especially frustrating at the time. The Badgers were fresh off of a defeat at the hands of Milwaukee, their first win over Wisconsin in 22 years. It was also Bo Ryan’s second to last game he ever coached, and his last loss as the Badgers’ head coach. After the loss, Wisconsin was 6-5 on the season. The previous season, the Badgers had only lost four of their 40 games.

“We just weren’t a good team,” Nigel Hayes said of the Badgers during last year’s matchup. “Plain and simple. They didn’t do anything that we didn’t know that they were going to do. We lost by two so you know we were right there, we were a bad team early in the season.”

Bronson Koenig echoed Hayes’s sentiments about last year’s team at this time.

“We were pretty disorganized. We didn’t really have an identity at that time. It was early. I think we held the ball a lot and did a lot of one-on-one. We didn’t move the ball…I think we’re going to be better off this time around.”

Both Hayes and Koenig struggled in last season’s matchup only shooting 7/29 from the field, but they’re much improved from a year ago. Both have both increased their field goal percentage dramatically from a year ago. As most believe, the result on Saturday could be much different this time around. The Badgers are playing well as of late, and have been very efficient offensively. They have a reason to be confident in this one, and should have a good chance of forgetting about last season’s game after a win on Saturday.

In last season’s matchup, now-Detroit Piston Henry Ellenson scored 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Eagles, and he wanted to prove a point at the Kohl Center: “This is bragging rights. I wanted to show who’s the best team in the state.”

The Badgers aren’t calling this a revenge game, but they definitely remember Ellenson’s words and want to show they’re the best team in the state. Despite the Badgers enjoying some of their most successful seasons in the program’s history, Marquette has played the Badgers as well as any team. Each team has won three games in the last six of the series.

“Any game that you lose the year before you look to beat them the next year,” Koenig said.

We’ll find out on Saturday who that team is, likely the Wisconsin Badgers.

Wisconsin and Marquette tip off at 1:00pm CT at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (TV: FS1).