Wisconsin delivered an early upset of the 2023-24 college basketball season by knocking off No. 3 Marquette 75-64 Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers defeated their in-state rival for the third consecutive season as Marquette coach Shaka Smart fell to 0-3 all-time against Wisconsin.
The Badgers (6-2) led by as many as 16 points in the closing moments of the first half before Marquette went on a 17-2 run to cut the deficit to one with 14:46 remaining in regulation. Wisconsin built back its double-digit advantage and controlled the game from that point forward after Marquette went scoreless for more than seven minutes in the second half.
Wisconsin suffered consecutive losses to Tennessee and Providence earlier this season to drop to 1-2 before recording its second AP Top 25 win of the season. The Badgers beat previous No. 24 Virginia 65-41 in the Fort Myers Tip-Off last month.
Marquette (6-2) was coming off a strong showing at the Maui Invitational which included a win over then-No. 1 Kansas. The Golden Eagles face No. 16 Texas on Wednesday in the Big East-Big 12 Battle, while Wisconsin starts Big Ten play against Michigan State on Tuesday.
- Saturday marked the first three-game winning streak in the 130-game series for either team since Wisconsin won four consecutive games from 1998-2001.
- Wisconsin guard Max Klesmit scored all 21 of his points in the first half and knocked down 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc. The former Wofford star hadn't scored more than 20 points in a Wisconsin uniform since joining the program last season.
- Marquette guard Kam Jones scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. The junior is averaging a career-high 16 points per game this season
Post-Maui Invitational struggles
Marquette isn't the only team to struggle since participating in the Maui Invitational during Thanksgiving week. No. 1 Purdue wasby Northwestern less than 24 hours before this upset for its first loss of the season. The Boilermakers looked like far and away the best team in the country after knocking off Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette during an impressive three-day stretch in Hawaii, but couldn't overcome a strong performance by Northwestern star guard Boo Buie
After going 1-2 in the Maui Invitational against Syracuse, Purdue and Kansas, Tennessee suffered its third loss of the young season to North Carolina in the ACC/SEC Challenge. The 61 first half points the Vols allowed were their most since the 2005-06 season.
Another team from the event, UCLA, nearly suffered an upset loss to UC Riverside before Dylan Andrews converted a floater with 3.2 seconds remaining to give the Bruins a 66-65 win. UCLA was in danger of having its home winning streak snapped, but the heroics of Andrews extended the nation's longest active home winning streak to 29 games.