Rise and Shine folks, it’s Badger GameDay! Let’s all be thankful that we don’t cheer for little brother who was this years “Why the hell are they seeded so high but are an underdog to a 12 seed”team. Water always finds it’s level, and Minnesota not playing today feels like the Earth is back to it’s normal rotation.
Here we are a few hours before the round of 32 game and I’ve talked myself into the Badgers beating Villanova today and moving on to it’s 4th straight Sweet 16 (which would be remarkable if you really think about that–currently the only team who has been to the last 3 which is a major accomplishment in itself). After watching the Badgers come out of their shell offensively on Thursday, I am all-in on this team moving on. Bronson played so well that he caught a couple of Twitter DM’s from Aaron Rodgers and Isaiah Thomas (the Celtics guard), guess that’s what happens when you make 8 3’s. Let’s go through the matchup and how we are going to knock down the Wildcats today in snowy Buffalo.
Keys to the Game:
- Offensive Rebounding-Badgers will once again have the advantage on the front line, Villanova starts Reynolds who is 6-9 but majority of their minutes and lineups come with guys who are 6’7” or smaller; which means Happ and Nigel need to play big once again in order to give us a great chance. Villanova has been susceptible to offensive rebounds all year, as their opponents grabbed more offensive rebounds than Nova did over the course of the year. In a game that will be a defensive battle where points are expected to be a premium, the Badgers are going to have to create easy buckets and some of those have to come from the offensive glass.
- Defense-Both teams absolutely lock you up, Villanova giving up 62.6 a game and the Badgers 61.8. Said it before but I’ll say it again here, points will be at an absolutely premium. Each possession will be so valuable, and I can definitely see this game being played in the 50s/60s.
- Free Throws-This is honestly the one thing that scares me the most in this type of low scoring type of game. Badgers as a team are shooting 64% (Puke) and Villanova shoots 79!!% as a team. That is a distinct advantage that could rear it’s ugly head if Wisconsin doesn’t shoot well from the line. This is an experienced team, and I expect them to turn this around today and knock down some free ones.
- Destiny-The last 3 times the Badgers made the Final 4, they have beaten a #1 seeded team nicknamed the Wildcats. (Zona in 2000, Zona again in 2014, and Kentucky (38-1) in 2015. What does this mean? I’m not really sure but when you’re going up against the #1 overall seed in the tournament this type of stuff matters.