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Wisconsin begins 2006-07 season with high hopes vs. Mercer

Nov 12, 2006 - 4:12 PM Mercer (9-19) at No. 9 Wisconsin (19-11) 5:00 pm EST

MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Alando Tucker is expected to do big things for Wisconsin this season.

After a first-round NCAA Tournament loss in 2005-06, the Badgers will take on Mercer in the season opener for both teams.

Tucker, who averaged 19.7 points and 5.7 rebounds last season, was named the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. Along with guard Kammron Taylor, Tucker is a preseason finalist for the Wooden Award, which is given to college basketball's best player.

After a disappointing 94-75 loss to Arizona in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last season, Wisconsin will look to make a deeper run in 2006-07. The Badgers are returning four of their five starters - including their top two scorers.

The Badgers have fared well in their first game of the season in the past. Wisconsin is 81-27 all time in season openers and 66-14 when the campaign's first contest is at home.

The Bears are coming off a 9-19 season and lost their top three scorers.

Sunday's contest will be the first meeting between the schools.

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