School: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Location: Madison, WI
Student Population: 42,595 total, 28,897 undergrad
School Type: Public
Stadium: Kohl Center (you’re welcome)
Head Coach: William Francis ‘Bo’ Ryan, Jr.
Experience: 12nd year
This game matches the Conference #2 seed Buckeyes against the #4 sees Badgers. A national top ten team versus a top twenty-five team. And two teams that don’t really care that much about one another. Again, a rather abbreviated preview since this is the 3rd time the Buckeyes have played these guys and you get pretty much the same thing every game. A clock-eating, if not efficient offense, and a tough, smothering, flopping defense. The Bo Ryan’s Express, after a slow start, absolutely rolled Michigan in the quarter-final. The contrast-in-styles game worked well for Wisconsin again, as they got by the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers. Bo is not the B1G Coach of the Year based on his good look, folks.
I’ll pull together a few stats, with commentary. Information will be pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet. You’re familiar with the drill by now.
The Badgers plod along with relatively few possessions per game (62), resulting in relatively low scoring affairs. Their starting lineup is pretty familiar to us by now; Ben Brust (G, 6’1”), Ryan Evans (G/F,6’6”) , Jared Berggren (F/C, 6’10”), Traevon Jackson (G, 6’2”) and the winner of the Madison “Art Garfunkel Look-alike” contest, Mike Bruesewitz (F. 6’6”). Starter stats, below.
The Buckeyes are running pretty hot right now, winning xx of their last yy and zz in a row. Thad will start: Aaron Craft (G, 6’2”), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (G, 6’4”), DeShaun Thomas (F, 6’7”), Sam Thompson (F,6’7” and Amir Williams (C, 6’11”). Seeing significant playing time will be Shannon Scott (G, 6’1”), Evan Ravenal (C/F, 6’8”) and LaQuinton Ross (F, 6’8”). Key stats for starters below:
|#32||L. Smith Jr.||31||27.9||9.9||44.5||68.8||38.9||4.9||1.6||1.3|
The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).
|eFG%||TO%||Off Reb||FT Rate||PPG||PPP (O)||PPP (D)|
I think this will be a grind-em out, last possession wins game, unless a couple things happen. If Ohio State can continue their hot shooting (see 2nd half of Nebraska game), this will force Wisconsin out of their comfort zone of high-screening for perimeter shots and bludgeoning opponents in the paint. If OSU can also maintain their sound perimeter defense (good communications, good positioning, etc.) to “make” Wisconsin struggle with their outside shots, this can open long-rebound transition opportunities. Since the last time these teams have played, a Wisconsin win, Ohio State and run off 7 consecutive victories, and looked pretty good doing so. Let’s make it 8 in a row and grab the B1G Tournament trophy.
Tip-off is Sunday at 3:30 PM (EST), with live game chat beginning 15 minutes earlier. Please join us. The game is televised on CBS.