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SportsCenter, North bound for Duke-Wisconsin showdown tonight

Veteran ESPN golf analyst Andy North always makes time to support University of Wisconsin athletics. The Thorpe, Wis. native will be in Madison’s Kohl Center tonight as the No. 2 Badgers play host to No. 4 Duke in a men’s basketball showdown (ESPN, 9:30 ET).

John Buccigross and Kevin Connors will anchor the 11 p.m. SportsCenter from the venue, where Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon will join the show as the Badgers prepare to meet Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game Saturday.

Last spring, North caught every game in Wisconsin’s run to the Final Four – including one he watched with Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers, as the Tweet above attests. The college basketball season is still young, but the two-time U.S. Open winner expects a great game.

“I think this game probably is the biggest game so far in the season for college basketball across the whole country. Two extremely talented, well-coached teams in a great atmosphere,” North said.

“Wisconsin has had quite a few big games in the last 15 years, between the Michigan States and Ohio States when they were No. 1,” he said. “Duke came in the last time for the ACC Challenge [ranked] No. 6. I don’t know exactly how many times both teams have been ranked in the Top 5, but obviously this is one of the bigger games we’ve had. It’s early in the season, it’s not going to determine the national championship or anything, but it’s going to give people a great idea of where they stand right now.”

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