Full Wisconsin Preview and Prediction For the West Region

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Sweet Sixteen

I wish I could just write about North Carloina and Arkansas, but since this is the NCAA Tournament and anything can happen, I can’t do that. I wouldn’t be too shocked to see Wofford or Harvard advance.

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#4 UNC

UNC is talented and long enough to compete with Wisconsin. They have the quick guards that the Badgers can’t seem to defend. Marcus Paige is as talented as they come. Although he only averages 13.9 ppg, he has the explosiveness to drop 30 on any given night. Kennedy Meeks and Bryce Johnson are big enough and tough enough to cause problems for Kaminsky. They are proven, with wins over Virginia, Louisville, and an overtime loss at Duke. Furthermore, they are the best rebounding team in the tournament.

On paper, it seems like a nightmare match-up for the Badgers. Good thing games aren’t played on paper, though. Wisconsin is a 1 seed for a reason. They can knock down the 3 with ease, which is UNC’s biggest weakness on an already porous defense. The Tar Heels also turn it over in droves, which will limit their possessions. Playing against a Badgers team that doesn’t turn it over and uses the whole shot clock, UNC will have to be extremely efficient to have a chance. They won’t have enough possessions to score their usual number of points. For me, those two reasons out weigh anything else. Wisconsin will win in a low scoring, low tempo game.

Prediction: 61-54 Win

#5 Arkansas

The Razorbacks are an up-tempo, highflying team. They utilize the full court press for the entire game, which could cause trouble for teams without much depth. Hopefully, Traevon Jackson will be fully healthy by the time the Sweet Sixteen rolls around. Even if he isn’t, however, I don’t see Wisconsin having much of a problem in this game. Wisconsin always controls the tempo. Always. I don’t remember a game in which the Badgers let another team dictate the pace of the game. They don’t turn the ball over, so the press shouldn’t be too much of a factor. As long as SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis doesn’t carry his team Kemba Walker style and Wisconsin doesn’t jack up too many 3’s, leading to long rebounds and transition buckets, this will be an easy Badgers win.

Prediction: 66-55 Win

#13 Harvard

Despite Harvard’s recent tournament success, I don’t think they have any shot against UNC. They don’t shoot or rebound nearly well enough. The only good thing this match-up does is set up all the great UNC-Harvard academic jokes. This could be fun. In all seriousness, even if Harvard does somehow make it past UNC and Arkansas/Wofford, they have no chance against the Badgers. Wesley Saunders is good, but he’s only one player.

#12 Wofford

Wofford is being picked by many experts to be a sleeper in this region. They have all the feel of a conventional 12-5 upset team. They control tempo very well, and play hard, physical defense. The Terriers also have a win at NC State, who went on to beat Duke. However, one game on their schedule stands out to me. A 30-point whopping by West Virginia. Like Arkansas, West Virginia thrives of the full-court press, and Wofford had 21 turnovers against the Mountaineers. This is all I need to know. Wofford won’t get past Arkansas.

Next: The Elite Eight