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Wisconsin Basketball vs. North Texas – NIT Semifinal Preview



Wisconsin basketball forward Steven Crowl

Wisconsin basketball is looking to earn another 40 minutes on its season. After wins last week over Liberty and Oregon, the Badgers take on the North Texas Mean Green in the National Invitation Tournament semifinals inside Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. If UW is victorious, it will take on the winner of UAB and Utah Valley for the championship on Thursday night. Tonight’s NIT semifinal will air on ESPN at 6:00 PM CDT.

Wisconsin Basketball vs. North Texas Mean Green Scouting Report

The University of North Texas, out of Conference USA, has enjoyed a historic season. The Mean Green has amassed a 29-7 record on the season, setting a program record for wins. The previous record of 25 wins was set last season. Head coach Grant McCasland took over the UNT program in 2017 after an 8-22 season. Since then, McCasland has only failed to reach the 20-win mark once. In that same season, however, North Texas reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This season, UNT finished second in CUSA behind Florida Atlantic.

The Mean Green is led by CUSA Player of the Year Tylor Perry. The former junior college transfer led the conference and ranks 11th nationally in three-point percentage. He is North Texas’ leading scorer averaging 17.3 points per game.

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UNT also boasts the CUSA Newcomer of the Year in Kai Huntsberry. The freshman point guard is second on the team in scoring with 12 points per game. Huntsberry first attended junior college at San Diego City College and later transferred to Division II University of Mary before finally landing in Denton.

McCasland has historically coached teams to play at a slow tempo, but this version of the Mean Green plays slower than most. According to KenPom, North Texas plays at the slowest pace in the country – 21 spots slower than Wisconsin basketball. That pace of play allows North Texas to play lockdown defense, holding opponents to the fewest points per game and the seventh-lowest field goal percentage nationally.

In a game between two teams that struggle mightily at times to score, this could be a rock fight. Fortunately, the Badgers and the Mean Green play in the early game.

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Kedrick Stumbris covers Wisconsin football, basketball, hockey, and volleyball. He received his B.A. with economics and political science majors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018 and has had his work published on Bleacher Report and Verbal Commits.