Monday Morning Wisconsin Versus UNC Sweet Sixteen Primer


The Wisconsin Badgers are heading back to the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time in five years.

If they want to advance one step closer to the NCAA Men’s Final Four, they’ll have Roy Williams and the UNC Tarheels standing in their way this Thursday.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

It will be the first time since a top-ten match-up at North Carolina in 2011 that the teams will lock horns.

UNC came up victorious then, on the strength of a 20-point performance from Harrison Barnes and a 17 rebound night from now Milwaukee Bucks forward, John Henson.

Wisconsin vs. UNC will be the first of four games to tip Thursday night, with a 6:47 p.m. CST start time.

Badgers fans will find the game aired on TBS.

Looking back quickly at UW’s win over Oregon, it was Wisconsin’s ability to mix in enough possessions of productive offense around an outstanding offensive night from the PAC-10 player of the year, Joseph Young.

“Some things got away from us, but we were able to corral our talents and get it done,” Bo Ryan said. “Let’s hope we can go to L.A. and make some noise.”

Badgers players didn’t seem to mind the ugly win, either.

“At this point, I don’t care if we play like crap and still win,” Josh Gasser, said. “We did some good things, we did some bad things.”

The Badgers are now 22-13 in the NCAA tournament under head coach Bo Ryan. UW’s 22 wins since the 2001-02 season are tied for 9th in the nation and 2nd among Big Ten teams (Michigan State 27). (

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  • One of the reasons the Badgers were able to come out victorious was still their defense.

    According to ESPN stats and information, Wisconsin contested 41 of Oregon’s 59 field goal attempts (69 percent), 16 more than Oregon contested. The Ducks made 31.7 percent of their contested attempts compared to 72.2 percent of their uncontested attempts.

    The Tarheels are 26-11 on the season, going 11-7 inside the ACC. Wisconsin enters with a school record in wins, 33, having dropped contests at home against Duke, on the road versus Rutgers and then also on the road against Maryland.

    Junior guard Marcus Paige has been UNC’s most consistent offensive producer this season, scoring just over 14 points per game and having not missed from the free throw line thru his last five games (16-for-16). He’s also shot a combined 15-for-34 from behind the three point line during that same stretch.

    Menomonie Falls native, and former UW recruit, J.P. Tokoto runs the point for Roy Williams and dishes out an average of six assists per game while also scoring eight point and grabbing close to six rebounds per game.

    Underneath, the 6-9 junior Brice Johnson will battle with Wisconsin’s big man, Frank Kaminsky.

    Johnson averages just shy of 13 point and 8 boards per game for UNC, grabbing 13 overall in the Tarheels 87-78 win over Arkansas this past Saturday.

    Next: Zak Showalter Comes Up Big Against Oregon