Well that was a blowout right from the start.
In what was expected to be a tightly contested match, the Badgers crushed the Hawkeyes in their first of two meetings in the next week and a half.
With that said, let’s look a little deeper into the box score.
- The Badgers starting five was a combined +10 on the day while the Hawkeyes starting five was a -11. Some of this could be explained by the quick start to the game, but the Badgers will win the majority of their games if their starters pound the opposing starters like that. A problem that has faced the Badgers for years is allowing one star (seems to usually be a guard) to get extremely hot. By looking at the plus/minus, we are able to see how effective that star really is, as it factors in the scoring for the entire line-up. Luckily, no Hawkeye got hot last night, and the rest of the plus/minus is right around even.
- Sam Dekker had an adjusted 24.3 points per 40 minutes and 11.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. This means that if he played all 40 minutes, that is what he was on pace to collect. Dekker looked about as confident and strong last night as he has all year, and the stats back it up. Other than Frank Kaminsky, who was on pace to collect 14.7 rebounds, he led the team in adjusted rebounds while also beating out Nigel Hayes for team lead in adjusted points.
- Wisconsin, as a team, went 13-20 on lay-ups. While that may not seem earth-shattering, it shows how well the Badgers were getting to the hoop last night. In contrast, Wisconsin was only 1-7 against Nebraska. As the results showed, the Badgers are able to win playing either way, but getting to the hoop also opens up the three point line where the Badgers were 9-23.
- With 7:37 left in the second half, the Badgers’ lead was officially 100% safe (h/t scacchoops.com for all advanced stats). After that point, it never dropped below 86%. This stat is interesting to look at as it shows how specific plays affected the game. While last night Wisconsin held control throughout, I wanted to give everyone a quick primer on this as it’s something we will be looking at in close games.