The Matchup: #1 Wisconsin (32-3) vs. #8 Oregon (26-9)
When: Sunday, March 22; 6:45pm CT
Where: CenturyLink Center (17,630) – Omaha, Nebraska
Radio: Badgers Sports Network
Last Meeting: .. UW won, 85-77 (03/22/14)
All-Time Series: UW leads 4-2
G Joseph Young - Sr. 6-2, 180 (20.4 ppg, 3.7 apg)
G Jalil Abdul-Bassit - Sr. 6-4, 197 (8.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg)
F Dillon Brooks - Fr. 6-6, 225 (11.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
F Elgin Cook - Jr. 6-6, 205 (13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
F Jordan Bell - Fr. 6-9, 215 (5.0 ppg, 6.1 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 (18.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg)
Biggest Matchup: Josh Gasser vs. Joseph Young
Once again, Josh Gasser will draw the difficult task of guarding the unguardable Joseph Young. Last season he couldn’t miss in the first half of the round of 32 matchup and nearly gave the Ducks enough of a cushion that UW couldn’t come back.
This season though, Gasser is much more consistent of a defender and is nearly his old pre-knee injury self. Young was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaging 20.2 points per game on the way to the award and as long as UW can keep him from going above the 20-point mark it should have every opportunity to win this contest.
Gasser will also need to find his three-point stroke on the other end of the court, as Wisconsin will run in to a Ducks defense that has more length than the last few opponents UW has faced. If he can get going from deep it will only open up Wisconsin’s big men for more opportunities too.
Gasser needs to be a facilitator on both ends of the court as well, and if that happens look for Wisconsin to win this game.
3 Numbers to Know:
- .538: That’s Wisconsin’s overall record in the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament (7-6).
- 21: Wisconsin has won 21 NCAA tournament games under Bo Ryan, which tied Syracuse for 9th for wins during the Bo Ryan era.
- 3: Wisconsin comes in to this game with a three-game winning streak over the Ducks.
Prediction: Wisconsin 77, Oregon 70
While this Oregon team isn’t the same as it was last season, it has one very important and scary part back — Josh Young. Oregon is perfectly capable of pulling off the upset given it’s offensive proficiency, but they aren’t the same defensive team they were last season.
In fact, it would behoove the Badgers to make Oregon work hard of the defensive end for as long as possible. Oregon often gets frustrated and that means UW should be able to get to the free throw line a lot. If that happens, look for the Badgers to salt this game away from the free throw line and offset anything Young and the Ducks will do.