Badger of Honor Staff Predictions: Wisconsin Wins Over UNC


Our Badger of Honor staff predictions are 2-for-2 so far in the tournament. We’re unanimous in our selections again, picking Wisconsin over North Carolina.

The Wisconsin Badgers and North Carolina Tar Heels square off Thursday night in the Sweet Sixteen. Our Badger of Honor staff predictions give you a peek at how we see this game playing out.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Zach Rastall

For a second straight game, the Badgers won’t secure victory until late in the second half. Traevon Jackson likely won’t see too many minutes in his much-anticipated return, but having him back in the rotation will be a huge boost for Wisconsin. With or without Kennedy Meeks, the Tar Heels won’t be able to stifle the UW frontcourt, as Sam Dekker continues to impress during the tournament.

Wisconsin 76, North Carolina 68

Jon Rzepecki

North Carolina will come out screaming, running up and down the court trying to wear out the Badgers, especially if the Tar Heels are without Meeks to cover Hayes or Kaminsky. Whichever Badgers Brice Johnson singles out will be who Roy Williams deems the biggest target, and will force others to step up. And if he’s on Kaminsky, they’ll have to play out of their minds.

Wisconsin 81, North Carolina 78

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  • Taylor Johnson 

    This is going to be a very tough test for the Wisconsin Badgers. Containing Marcus Paige and keeping Brice Johnson off the glass will be key if Wisconsin wants to advance to the Elite Eight. The Badgers will also have to play at a very high level and be near perfect if they want to defeat the Tar Heels. Getting Frank Kaminsky going early, as well as Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes providing a great supporting role will keep Wisconsin rolling. Duje Dukan and Zak Showalter will need to continue their high energy of play as well.

    This game won’t be easy, but the Badgers play well enough to survive and advance to the Elite Eight.

    Wisconsin 74, North Carolina 70

    Jim Oxley

    As you’d expect, the Sweet Sixteen match up will be Wisconsin’s toughest yet in the tournament. Everyone in the country just saw Joseph Young put up 30 points on this Wisconsin defense, and Tar Heel fans are probably salivating over what Marcus Paige is going to do. North Carolina’s rebounding prowess should scare the Badgers, as well. Still, Wisconsin will be riding high on the news of the return of Traevon Jackson, and with Frank Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and Sam Dekker prowling the lane, should be able to take advantage of a smaller North Carolina team, and Wisconsin pulls away late in a close game.

    Wisconsin 76, North Carolina 72

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    Rayan Vatti

    In they eyes of many experts, this is a very intriguing upset pick. And to be honest, they aren’t completely misguided. UNC is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, they have the athleticism and size to deal (somewhat) with the Badger bigs, and they’ve been on a tear offensively. They also have the ultra-quick guard, this time Marcus Paige, that the Badgers have struggled with all year long. On the flip side, Wisconsin won’t beat themselves with turnovers and fouls, unlike UNC. This game will come down to which Badger team shows up. The one that played against OSU or last weekends one? My brain says UNC, my gut says Wisconsin.

    Wisconsin 70, North Carolina 69 

    Douglas J. Etten

    While we got a taste in the opening round, I think it’s time we were reminded again just why Frank Kaminsky is a front-runner for National Player Of The Year. It’s been a lot of fun and games for the senior center this week, and the Badgers seem light at heart going into their Sweet 16 matchup with UNC. Along with a big game from Frank Kaminsky, I think it’s only fitting that Traevon Jackson have a few bright spots off the bench. I feel the Tar Heels will struggle with Wisconsin’s versatility, and also find it tough getting to the free throw line battling Wisconsin’s disciplined defense. Badgers win this game, though not easily.

    Wisconsin 75, North Carolina 71

    Next: UW-UNC Game Info