Jan 19, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; Ole Miss Rebels forward Reginald Buckner (23) finishes a dunk as Arkansas Razorbacks guard Kikko Haydar (20) and forward Hunter Mickelson (21) look on at Tad Smith Coliseum. Mississippi defeated Arkansas 76-64. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

All You Need To Know About Wisconsin

The Ole Miss Rebels found out they were dancing around 2 p.m. on Sunday and they found out they were a 12-seed playing 5-seed Wisconsin at around 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening. Despite finishing the season 26-8 and winning their first SEC title in 32 years, they were tied with Oregon as the lowest seeded conference tournament champions from a BCS AQ conference. Wisconsin may be the most up-and-down basketball team mainly due in part to so many tough games on their schedule. Here is a quick look at the Badgers.

Mar 16, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Ben Brust (1) celebrates after making a basket against the Indiana Hoosiers in the first half during the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

 

Record: 23-11, 12-6 in the Big Ten

Conference Tournament: Defeated #5 seed Michigan 68-59 in the Quarterfinals

Defeated #1 seed Indiana 68-56 in Semifinals

Lost to #2 seed Ohio State 50-43 in Finals

Quality Victories: @ No.2 Indiana, Conf. No.3 Indiana, No.3 Michigan, Conf. No.6 Michigan, No.12 Illinois, No.12 Minnesota, No.13 Ohio State

Losses to Teams Outside the Tournament: Virginia, Purdue, @ Iowa

 

Tournament Appearances: 19 (including 15 straight)

Sweet Sixteens: 6 (two in a row)

Elite Eights: 3 (last in 2005)

Final Fours: 2 (last in 2000)

National Championships: 1 (1941)

 

2012 NCAA Tournament: No.4 seed in the East Regional: defeated No.13 Montana 73-49

Defeated No.5 Vanderbilt 60-57

Lost to No.1 Syracuse 64-63

Mar 17, 2012; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Wisconsin Badgers players celebrate after the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the third round of the 2012 NCAA men

 

Team Leaders: 

Scoring: Ben Brust 11.4 pp.

Rebounding: Ryan Evans 7.5 rpg

Assists: Traevon Jackson 2.8 apt

Steals: Traevon Jackson 1.0 spg

Blocks: Jared Berggren 2.1 bpg

 

Offense: 

PPG: 66.2 (212th nationally)

Field Goal Percentage: 42.6 (211th)

Free Throw Percentage: 63.0 (326th)

Three-Point Percentage: 33.6 (187th)

Three-Point Field Goals Made: 7.4 (57th)

Assists Per Game: 13.5 (126th)

Rebounds Per Game: 36.9 (71st)

 

Defense: 

PPG Allowed: 56.0 (10th nationally)

Opponents Field Goal Percentage: 39.4 (39th)

Opponents Three-Point Percentage: 30.3 (31st)

Turnover Margin: +1.6 (82nd)

Blocks Per Game: 4.1 (91st)

Steals Per Game: 5.5 (281st)

Mar 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward/center Jared Berggren (40) blocks the shot of Michigan Wolverines guard Nik Stauskas (11) in the first half during the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

 

 

The Badgers are one of the best defensive teams in the nation and that comes while playing in an explosive conference. Their low offensive numbers are due in part to head coach Bo Ryan’s slow style of play where he likes to work long into the possession, the opposite of Paul Westhead in a sense. They do not get in much of a rhythm in that offense, but they also don’t allow others to get into a rhythm. One statistic that is not affected by that is the anemic free throw percentage that ranks 326th in the country and third to last among major conference teams, only ahead of Vanderbilt and TCU.

After taking a look at the numbers the Badgers have accumulated in the Big Ten, here is how Ole Miss matches up in the same categories in the inferior, but still high-caliber Southeastern Conference.

Offense: 

PPG: 78.2 (7th nationally)

Field Goal Percentage: 43.7 (147th)

Free Throw Percentage: 68.4 (203rd)

Three-Point Percentage: 33.0 (216th)

Three-Point Field Goals Made: 6.8 (106th)

Assists Per Game: 12.6 (173rd)

Rebounds Per Game: 38.8 (19th)

 

 

Defense: 

PPG Allowed: 67.3 (190th nationally)

Opponents Field Goal Percentage: 41.0 (88th)

Opponents Three-Point Percentage: 31.3 (62nd)

Turnover Margin: +4.2 (10th)

Blocks Per Game: 5.1 (22nd)

Steals Per Game: 8.4 (31st)

 

That leaves the Rebels as the clearly better offensive team and the Badgers as the clearly better defensive team. Ole Miss is much better scoring the basketball with 12 more points per game than the Badgers. That’s not to see that it is all cut-and-dry in the Rebel favor. Wisconsin is better offensively beyond the arc where they shoot 0.3 percent better and make 0.6 three-point field goals more per game. They also average almost an assist more per game, 13.5 compared to 12.6 for Ole Miss which could become a greater disparity with the concussion to Jarvis Summers.

Just like Wisconsin being better offensively in some aspects compared to Ole Miss, there are some areas on defense where the Rebels are tremendously better. That all boils down to pressure and turnovers. Wisconsin is a tempo team and they are sound in being in their spots in the half-court, but Ole Miss likes to apply pressure, whether it is a double-team or full-court which allows them to force a lot more turnovers. The Rebels have forced 149 more turnovers this season (529-382) and have a difference in margin of 2.6. Andy Kennedy’s club also blocks one more shot per game and gets 3.9 more steals per game.
It’s obvious how each team would like for the game to go. Wisconsin wants this to be a slow game where the half-court style of everyone do their own job in the set plays to their advantage. Ole Miss wants to get up and go, pushing the basketball by forcing turnovers and getting out into transition. There could not be two teams who are more different than one another in the first round. It will all unfold on Friday from Kansas City.

Tags: NCAA Tournament Ole Miss Basketball Wisconsin Basketball

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