Mar 22, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT
Frank Kaminsky led five scorers in double-figures with 19 points as No. 2 Wisconsin overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to beat No. 7 Oregon, 85-77.
The Ducks were unconscious in the first half, thriving as the Badgers tried to run with them, but Oregon’s shots didn’t fall in the final 20 minutes. They were outscored 48-28 in that second 20 minutes as Wisconsin took advantage of the fact that the Bradley Center was jam-packed with Badger fans.
The win will send Wisconsin to Anaheim for the Sweet 16 where they will play the winner of tomorrow’s game No. 3 Creighton and No. 6 Baylor.
Wisconsin’s Achilles’ heel all season long has been their ability to defend on the perimeter, and that was evident in the first half against the Ducks. Joseph Young, who finished with 29 points, was able to get into the paint at will while Jason Calliste, who added 20 off the bench, made a living at the foul line.
But that defense tightened up significantly down the stretch, and if Bo Ryan can get his boys to play that way out west, they’ll have a chance to make some noise in Anaheim.
The biggest reason why is that they start three guards that, if needed, could seamlessly transition into the point guard role in Traevon Jackson, Ben Brust and Josh Gasser. All three have three-point range, all three hit their free throws and all three can avoid turnovers. As good as Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are, the reason that those two are able to get the ball in spots where they can be effective is a result of Wisconsin’s back court play.
There hasn’t been much discussion of the Badgers as a contender for the Final Four in the west, but the biggest reason for that was their matchup with Oregon. The Ducks just looked like they would have Wisconsin’s number, and, frankly, they did.
But Wisconsin was able to pull out the win, which means that this is a group that you are going to have to start paying attention to.
- Manhattan’s returnees look to build on the achievements of last season’s senior class 0
- 2014-15 Season Preview: Rivals Iona, Manhattan have company in race to the top of the MAAC 0
- Top 25 Countdown: No. 11 Villanova Wildcats 0
- 2014-15 Season Preview: Kentucky’s loaded rotation leads nation’s best front courts 0
- Cameron Payne didn’t expect to fill Isaiah Canaan’s void at Murray State, but he did 0
- 2014-15 Season Preview: The Top 20 Perimeter Attacks 1
- Top 25 Countdown: No. 12 Wichita State 1
- UNC investigation states bogus classes pushed by academic counselors to athletes (7)
- Report: Texas plans to start paying their athletes $10,000 stipend (4)
- 2014-2015 Season Preview: College Basketball’s Top 13 Dunkers (VIDEOS) (3)
- Texas A&M lands another five-star center, has loaded 2015 recruiting class (2)
- Florida guard cleared to return to practice (2)