By Gregg Hoffmann Special to Published Dec 02, 2004 at 5:01 AM

{image1} The Division I college basketball teams in the state go head-to-head in several games in December. Look also for the Brewers' sale to be approved and the Packers to continue their drive to the playoffs.

Of course, the big battle comes on Saturday, Dec. 11, when the UW Badgers come to the Bradley Center to meet the Marquette Golden Eagles in a 7:30 p.m. contest.

This one is always for the bragging rights in the state. Both teams have gotten off to good starts. Marquette had a 6-0 record going into Wednesday night. The Badgers are 5-1, counting exhibition games, after a big win Tuesday over 12th ranked Maryland.

Give Marquette an advantage because the game is in Milwaukee, but the Badgers have shown in the past they can play at the BC.

Before meeting Marquette, the Badgers host UW-Green Bay at the Kohl Center on Tuesday, Dec. 7. They also entertain UWM on Dec. 15. UWGB and UWM will meet later in the season since both are in the Horizon League.

Major League owners are expected to approve the sale of the Brewers to L.A. investor Mark Attanasio in a conference call next Monday, Dec. 6. If that happens, look for a follow-up in The Weekend Sports Buzz next Thursday.

The Packers play at Philadelphia, host Detroit and Jacksonville and then go to Minnesota for what could be a huge Christmas Eve day game in the NFC North. They wrap up the regular season Jan. 2 in Chicago.

It is not an easy road to the playoffs, but Brett Favre is playing great football. That always gives the Packers a chance.

Coach Terry Porter's Bucks hope to get on a roll in December when they play eight home games. Highlights are this Saturday's game against Tim Duncan and San Antonio, a visit by Shaq and Dwyane Wade when Miami comes to town on Dec. 8, and an appearance by Allen Iverson when Philly visits on Dec. 18.

The Admirals play five home games at the BC in December. The highlight will be a Dec. 17 contest against Interstate-94 rivals, the Chicago Wolves.

In soccer, the Wave plays four home games at the U.S. Cellular Arena this month. The one creating the most buzz is a New Year's Eve matchup against the Storm that will be televised by WMLW Channel 7 from Chicago.

Indoor kart racing also will take place at The Milwaukee Mile on Dec. 11-12.

The Name Game

When La Crosse area native Damian Miller appears in a game, he will become the eighth Wisconsin native to wear a Brewers uniform, joining Jerry Augustine, Gene Brabender, Matt Erickson, Jim Gantner, Willie Mueller, Paul Wagner and Bob Wickman. Miller signed a two-year deal Monday and will start at catcher next season ... UWM's Karen Fruit was named Horizon League volleyball player of the year and the Panthers' Kathy Litzau coach of the year ... The Bucks activated forward Zendon Hamilton, who missed the first 11 games with a knee injury, and waived Anthony Goldwire.

Beyond Milwaukee Sports

UW-La Crosse wide receiver Scott Burnoski was named WIAC Player of the Year...American Apolo Anton Ohno won three gold medals at World Cup short track speedskating competition in Madison last weekend ... Stout's Mark Thomas became the winningest WIAC women's basketball coach when he won his 289th game in November ... Superior's Mike Wiggins scored four goals in a 5-3 hockey win over St. Thomas (Minn.).

Hot Tix

The Packers travel to Philadelphia on Sunday for a 3:15 p.m. game that could end up a preview of the NFC Championship game.

Make a note that the remaining two Packers' home games, Dec. 12 and 19, have been changed to 3:15 kickoffs.

In small college football, surprising Carthage travels to Mount Union for a NCAA Division III quarterfinal game on Saturday.

The Bucks host the Spurs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bradley Center.

In college basketball, UWM plays at I-94 rival Illinois-Chicago at 7 p.m. Saturday. UW travels to Rutgers. Marquette is off for the weekend but hosts South Dakota State Tuesday night at the BC.

The Admirals host Grand Rapids at 7 p.m. Friday at the BC and travel to Chicago for a Saturday night game. The Wave plays at St. Louis Friday night and entertains the Chicago Storm at 6:05 p.m. Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Arena.

UW will host a NCAA women's volleyball tournament this weekend. The Badgers, ranked 14th in the country, will meet Loyola in the first round Friday. Notre Dame will play Valparaiso in the other first-round game. Action continues Saturday. The winner advances to regional action in Green Bay on Dec. 10-11.

Gregg Hoffmann Special to
Gregg Hoffmann is a veteran journalist, author and publisher of Midwest Diamond Report and Old School Collectibles Web sites. Hoffmann, a retired senior lecturer in journalism at UWM, writes The State Sports Buzz and Beyond Milwaukee on a monthly basis for OMC.