If the Wisconsin Badgers want to win over Arizona in tonight’s Elite Eight matchup, there are a few things that this writer believes must go their way.
IF – Wisconsin wins the rebounding battle they stand a very good chance at beating a good, athletic front line of Arizona.
Un-noted has been the play of Badgers guard Traevon Jackson.
While he makes most UW fans want to pull their hair out, the junior point guard seems to have that basketball IQ which puts him in the right spot at the right time when it comes to rebounding and starting the transition game for Wisconsin.
Jackson, along with Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, must have 20-25 rebounds between the three of them if Wisconsin wants to win.
IF – Wisconsin shoots 40% or higher from behind the three-point arc.
We saw what a help the three-point basket can be in the Wisconsin demolition of Baylor. And while that performance came against a lengthy zone defense, tonight:s game will see a lot of penetrate and kick on the offensive end for UW.
When Wisconsin gets an open shot, they must make Arizona pay.
IF – Wisconsin can limit the offensive production of Gordon and Hollis-Jeferson.
These could be two of the best swing men in the game right now.
Gordon:s ability to leap out of the gym and rebound the basketball on the offensive end combined with the defensive presence of Hollis-Jeferson could spell trouble for the defensive trio of Dekker, Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes.
IF – Wisconsin gets a big game out of either Nigel Hayes or Bronson Koenig.
They:ve consistently provided points in key areas in games throughout the 2013-14 season, but now it:s time to see if one of them, or both, can step up and answer the call when it matters the most.
They will be the first two Badgers off the bench for Bo Ryan, and when they hit the floor, they will need to hit the floor running.