The Matchup: #1 Wisconsin (31-3) vs. #16 Coastal Carolina (24-9)
When: Friday, March 20; 8:20pm CT
Where: CenturyLink Center (17,630) - Omaha, Nebraska
Radio: Badgers Sports Network
Last Meeting: .. UW won, 92-54 (11/26/05)
All-Time Series: UW leads 3-0
Projected Starting Lineups:
G Warren Gillis — Sr. 6-3, 215 (13.1 ppg, 3.2 apg)
G Josh Cameron — Sr. 6-1, 175 (12.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
G Shivaughn Wiggins — So. 5-11, 180 (10.2 ppg, 3.2 apg)
F Badou Diange — Jr. 6-7, 220 (9.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
F Tristian Curtis – Jr. 6-7, 220 (4.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg)
G Bronson Koenig – So. 6-4, 190 (8.6 ppg, 2.4 apg)
G Josh Gasser – Sr. 6-4, 192 (6.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
F Sam Dekker – Jr. 6-9, 230 (13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
F Nigel Hayes – So. 6-8, 235 (12.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
C Frank Kaminsky – Sr. 7-0, 234 (18.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
Biggest Matchup: Warren Gillis vs. Josh Gasser
No No. 1 seed has ever lost to a No. 16 seed, but that doesn’t mean Wisconsin can take the Chanticleers lightly in the least. A big reason for that lies in a deadly backcourt, and Warren Gillis is the man that could do the most damage.
That means he’ll match up one-on-one with Wisconsin’s lockdown defender, Josh Gasser. As long as Gasser makes Gillis work for his points and doesn’t allow him to go off for more than his scoring average the Badgers should be in good hands.
On the other end of the court, Gasser needs to make Gillis work. Look for Gasser to do the little things to help take him out of the game — like drawing fouls and running him all over the court. Don’t be surprised to see Gasser a bit more involved in the scoring during this second round matchup.
3 Key Numbers:
- 32: With a win over Coastal Carolina, the Badgers will set a school record with 32 wins on a season. Right now UW is tied at the top of the heap with 31 wins at this point. It’s 31-3 record is just the 5th such record in the Big Ten over the last 20 years.
- 6: The Badgers have made six Sweet 16’s in the last 12 years, a number that is only topped by Kansas, Duke and Michigan State over that period of time.
- 13: Wisconsin’s football team and basketball team have qualified for a bowl game and the NCAA tournament for 13 consecutive years now. That’s the longest active streak in the country, and five years longer than the next longest streak (Michigan State, 8 years).
Prediction: Wisconsin 89, Coastal Carolina 64
Sure, the Chanticleers guards can light up the scoreboard and all. However, they have no answer for the front line of Dekker, Hayes and Kaminsky — who all are taller than the tallest starter Coastal Carolina will put out there.
It could be a big night in Omaha for the Badgers big men, and don’t be surprised if they hit the bench with the game well in hand during the final few minutes as well. Simply put, Wisconsin has more talent, is driven to be an NCAA champion and won’t overlook the Chanticleers.
That all adds up to a Badgers team that will dominate the boards and points in the paint to win it going away.