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Season Opening Road Trip Ends At Wisconsin

Eric Monroe (Steve Musco photo)
Eric Monroe (Steve Musco photo)

Second Straight Opponent Who Played In NCAA Tournament Last Year

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A season-opening two-game road trip for the Bulldogs concludes with a game at Wisconsin on Sunday. Tipoff at the Kohl Center is slated for 6 p.m. EST. The Big Ten Network has the television coverage, while a stream is available at BTN Plus.

Yale kicked off the 2017-18 campaign with a 92-76 loss at Creighton on Friday. The Bulldogs had four players score in double figures, led by junior Blake Reynolds who finished with 18 points. Trey Phills and first year Paul Atkinson each added 12 and Alex Copeland scored 10. Yale, though, couldn't overcome the hot-shooting of the Bluejays, who shot 58.8 percent from the field.

The Bulldogs are coming off another highly successful season. Yale won 18 games and advanced to the championship game of the first Ivy League Tournament before falling to Princeton. Included among the 18 victories was a season-opening 98-90 win over Markelle Fultz and Washington.

Over the last four years, the Bulldogs have 82 victories, captured two Ivy League titles and won the first NCAA Tournament game in school history – over Baylor in 2016.

If the preseason prognosticators are to be believed, the Bulldogs could surpass last year's success. Many have Yale as the preseason Ivy favorite, and in the official league preseason poll, the Bulldogs received the most first-place votes (8) and were picked to finish second.

The formula for success remains the same – rebounding, defense and sharing the ball. The Bulldogs led the Ivy League in rebounding margin for the sixth straight year last year, held opponents to 42.9 percent from the field, including 32.9 percent from three-point range, and averaged an Ivy League best 15.7 assists per game.

Three of last year's top four scorers return, including Copeland and sophomore Miye Oni who shared the team lead at 12.9 ppg. Reynolds, one of two players to start all 29 games a year ago, averaged 9.4 points, which was fourth on the team.

Yale is without the services of Makai Mason, a preseason Ivy League Player of the Year candidate, and sophomore Jordan Bruner, who are both injured.

2017 HALL OF FAME CLASSIC

Sunday's game is the second of four Yale will play in the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic. The Bulldogs' home opener on Tuesday vs. South Carolina State also is part of the Classic as is the game at Alcorn State the day before Thanksgiving.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Wisconsin are playing for the first time since 1983, an 87-77 Badger victory at the Merrill Lynch Classic in Dayton, Ohio. Wisconsin leads the all-time series 4-1. The first meeting between the teams came back on New Year's Day in 1902, a 35-20 Yale victory in Milwaukee. The teams played again on Jan. 2, 1902, with the Badgers winning 29-23.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN

The Badgers opened their season with an 85-50 victory over South Carolina State on Friday. Four players scored in double figures to lead Wisconsin, led by All-America candidate Ethan Happ, who scored 20 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Happ is the only returning starter from the Badger team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Sophomore guard D'Mitrik Trice is the only other player on the roster that has started a game prior to Friday's opener, making two starts in 2016-17. The Badgers will have just one senior in 2017-18, former walk-on Aaron Moesch. Wisconsin posted a 27-10 record last season, reaching at least 20 wins for the 11th straight season. UW also reached 12 Big Ten wins for the 8th-consecutive season. Both are the longest active marks in the conference.

BULLDOGS TO OPEN 2018-19 SEASON IN SHANGHAI

Yale traveled more than 1,300 miles for its opener this season at Creighton. That will be nothing compared to the trip the Bulldogs will take to kick off the 2018-19 season. Yale will head across the globe to Shanghai, China, to meet California in the fourth edition of the Pac-12 China Game presented by Alibaba Group. The Pac-12 China Game is the flagship event of Pac-12 Global, designed to grow the global popularity of Pac-12 athletic programs and universities, fostering cultural exchange through sport, and creating unique educational experiences for Pac-12 student-athletes.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity