Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bo Ryan ecourages his team against the Syracuse Orange during the first half of their men's NCAA East Regional basketball game in Boston

Wisconsin announces plans for August trip to Canada

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NCAA rules allow college basketball programs to take one foreign trip every four years, and such excursions can prove beneficial to teams looking to get a head start on the upcoming season.

In theory having the team together in unfamiliar surroundings can help build off-court chemistry, while also having the benefit of practices and games that can help teams mesh on the court.

Wisconsin will leave the country for eight days but Bo Ryan’s team won’t travel all that far, with the Badgers playing five exhibitions in Ottawa and Toronto. Wisconsin won 23 games last season but with mainstays such as Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans out of eligibility, the extra court time is a positive for Ryan’s squad.

Point guard Bronson Koenig and forward Nigel Hayes lead a six-member freshman class, and there’s also the return of point guard Josh Gasser. Expected to be the starter before the 2012-13 season began, Gasser suffered a torn ACL in preseason practice and missed the entire year.

Wisconsin’s trip to Canada will help veterans Ben Brust and Sam Dekker get even more familiar with their new teammates, and the voyage also allows Gasser to shake off some of the rust that can come as a result of a season-ending injury.

“We’re really looking forward to this trip and the opportunities it presents for preparing us for next season,” Ryan said in a statement released by the school.

“Taking this trip allows us 10 practices and five games, which is a great luxury. One aspect that is different from our 2006 trip to Italy is that incoming freshmen are now permitted to practice and play. So for a team with as many new faces as we will have, this gives us a head start on the season.”

Among the Badgers’ five games in Canada is a matchup with the Canadian Junior National Team, which could include players such as Andrew Wiggins (Kansas; has yet to determine summer schedule for Team Canada), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Florida State).

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.