Thanks to some pesky defense against the #5 Vanderbilt Commodores, the #4 Wisconsin Badgers are Boston bound for their second trip to the Sweet 16 in the last two years.
Threes were flying from everywhere with the Badgers shooting a total of 33 shots from beyond the arc. They connected on ten of them, including three a-piece for guards Ben Brust and Jordan Taylor in a 60-57 win.
Next up for the Badgers is a date with the #1 Syracuse Orange-Men who played excellent zone defense in their defeat of Kansas State in the round of 32.Vandy’s dangerous sharpshooter, John Jenkins, really had a tough time getting going against the Badgers. Jenkins who averages just under four threes a game was only able to connect on two of them and was a dreadful 3-of-13 from the field.
Much of Jenkins troubles from the field can be credited to some stout defense from All-Big Ten point guard Jordan Taylor.
Meanwhile, the Badgers were extremely balanced with five players reaching double-digit scoring in the box score. If they can continue to do that, it will be the first step in taking down Syracuse’s dangerous zone defense.
What sealed the win for the Badgers was a set of clutch offensive rebounds late in the game. Even though they were out-rebounded 32-27, they won the battle of the glass on the offensive end 8-7. They also did a fantastic job of turning over the Commodores (12 turnovers) and as usual took care of the ball themselves (8 turnovers).
It’s the first time in program history that the Badgers have booked trips to the Sweet 16 in back-to-back years.
Do you think the Badgers have a decent chance at upsetting Syracuse or is it too steep of a hill to climb? Let me know by commenting below!
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.