(4) Wisconsin vs. (5) Vanderbilt Preview
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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(4) Wisconsin Badgers
Going into the tournament there was a lot of concern about the Badgers’ offense. Against Montana they proved that they would have been one of the nation’s best on that side of the floor if they played in the Big Sky rather than the Big 10 where defense reigns supreme. Against the overmatched Grizzlies the Badgers put up 73 points on 47 percent shooting from the field and 52 percent from deep, where they shot 10-19. They beat up the Grizzlies on the boards and blocked eight shots in a contest that was never really close. In the Round of 32 the Badgers will not be going up against a team that is beat before the tip like the Grizzlies were. Vanderbilt’s starting five is littered with NBA talent that will not be caught off guard by the Badgers’ defensive pressure. They recently defeated Kentucky, a team who defends just as well as the Badgers do. Having four players score in double figures again is a must in order for the Badgers to keep pace with Vanderbilt.
(5) Vanderbilt Commodores
The Commodores have to feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from their shoulders as they finally avoided a first round upset by defeating the Harvard Crimson 79-70. They were in control for most of the ball game, although the Crimson did make a couple of runs throughout to keep it from being a snoozer. John Jenkins was simply unstoppable, going off for 27 points on just 12 shots. Festus Ezeli played just 27 minutes, but managed to grab 11 rebounds, block four shots, and create two steals during that time. The Commodores turned it over 16 times, something that cannot happen against Wisconsin. They’re too good defensively as it is to turn it over excessively against. Getting to the free throw line 30 times was important for Vanderbilt, they need to try to repeat that against the Badgers and make sure to limit the quality looks for Jordan Taylor and Ryan Evans.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick:Vanderbilt. The Commodores have too much fire power for the Badgers to keep up with. We’re going to bet on their scorers being on and leading them to the Sweet 16.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!