How far can the Wisconsin Badgers go through the 2014 NCAA tournament?
Prognosticators beware; if there is one thing we’ve come to know in Wisconsin, it’s the story of Jekyll & Hyde when it comes to UW hoops.
While you might have known what you were going to get with Dick Bennett’s Final Four team – low scoring, defensive machines – Bo Ryan’s current roster has the potential to lock-down on defense, at times, and run teams right out of the gym in others.
So what team should UW fans expect moving through the 2014 NCAA tournament?
Looking at the West bracket, let’s do a little “what if” with a couple of UW’s possible opponents moving through the tourney.
Oregon Ducks (23-9) – If there is one thing this Oregon team can do, it’s score the basketball. Winners of 13-straight games coming into the tourney, they are without a doubt one of the hottest teams in college hoops right now.
They’ve eclipsed 100 point four times in their last ten games which shows just how well they are able to get out and run, and execute offensively. They draw a lot of similarities to a Nebraska team which Wisconsin struggled with in the regular season finale.
Joseph Young and Mike Moser will be two tough draws defensively for Wisconsin – both high-level athletes in their own resepct, they bring the ability to face up and shoot the basketball and play above the rim with the best of them.
Creighton (26-7) – This is a lot of peoples pick to emerge from the West and represent in the Final Four. And for one very good reason – Doug McDermott.
Quite possibly the best overall player not just one his team, or in the West bracket, but all of college basketball, McDermott will draw a problem across any coaches blackboard. UW would likely trace the 13th all-time leading scorer in NCAA history with Josh Gasser, meaning that one-on-one match-up will be the key to scratching past one of the best teams in the country.
Baylor (24-11) – This team might be one of the most battle-tested teams in the West. Having played in three overtime games this season, including a double-overtime thriller against Kansas State, they came out on top in all three. Falling in the Big-12 championship game to Iowa State, their strength of schedule this year rivals UW’s.
Big man Corey Jefferson (6-9, 220) brings athleticism to the block. Averaging nearly a double-double in conference play this year, he’s a key piece to both the offensive and defensive sides of the basketball for the Baylor Bears.