Well, well, well, the No. 9 seed Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team are still playing here in March. UW has a second round matchup with the top-seeded Baylor Bears on Sunday afternoon after the Badgers mopped the floor with the No. 8 seed North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday night.
Baylor, after starting slowly, stomped 16 seed Hartford on Friday and has only lost two games all dang season. They are the best three point shooting team in the nation, the fifth best offensive rebounding team in the nation and they force the third most turnovers of any team in the nation. Basically, they are an extremely good team.
The Bears are built around having excellent guards and all of their top players are 6-foot-5 or shorter. Point guard Jared Butler is a first team All-America performer based on just about any list you look at and Davion Mitchell is usually on the third team. They both shoot over 41% from three and pass the ball with aplomb. This doesn’t even mention wing MaCio Teague who is averaging 21.2 points per game over the last five games which is 5.1 points above his season average.
Baylor came off of a long COVID-19 pause at the end of February and since then their defense hasn’t been nearly as good as it was earlier in the season. Over the last 30 days, the Bears are ranked No. 183 in adjusted defensive efficiency compared to No. 49 overall before the pause.
This will be the toughest game that the Badgers have played so far this season but if they are able to play like they did against UNC on Friday they will definitely have a puncher’s chance to upset Baylor.
How to watch/listen
TV: CBS, 1:40 p.m., CDT, Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson
Streaming: CBS Sports
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 206; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas; Westwood One; announcers TBD
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
Line: Wisconsin +6.5
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 35%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- Wisconsin advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in its last six trips to The Big Dance and the 11th time in the last 13 appearances after beating UNC on Friday.
- UW has won at least one NCAA tournament game in 19 of its 25 appearances, including 11 of the last 13.
- Wisconsin has won 14 NCAA tournament games since 2014, the most among Big Ten teams and sixth-highest total in the nation.
- Wisconsin looks to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the last seven NCAA tourneys, and the seventh time in the last 10 tournaments.
- Head coach Greg Gard improved to 5-3 in the NCAA tourney including 3-1 in the first round.
- Wisconsin will be facing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for the 10th time. The Badgers are 4-6 all-time against top-seeded teams, including wins in three of their last four games.
- Greg Gard has a win over a No. 1 seed on his resume, when No. 8 seed UW knocked off No. 1 overall seed Villanova, 65-62, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA tournament.
- Wisconsin is 4-6 all-time at Hinkle Fieldhouse, with the Badgers’ first trip coming in 1936. UW hasn’t played at Hinkle since 1990.
- UW went 13-for-27 (48.1%) from 3-point range on Friday, equaling the school’s third-most triples in an NCAA tournament game.
- Wisconsin out-rebounded North Carolina, 37-34, becoming just the 3rd team to outrebound the Tar Heels this season and the first since Florida State back on Jan. 16.
- All-time, the Badgers are 1-1 against the Bears. UW and BU have met once before in the NCAA tournament, with the Badgers earning a 69-52 win over the Bears in the 2014 Sweet 16 in Anaheim. UW went on to make the Final Four that season.
- Baylor won the most recent meeting in the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic semifinals. Then freshmen, Brad Davison (13 pts) and Aleem Ford (10 pts) each scored in double figures for the Badgers, who fell, 70-65.
- BU leads the nation in 3-point percentage (.414) and is top-10 nationally in scoring margin (3rd, +18.2), scoring (4th, 84.2), effective FG% (3rd, 57.1), defensive turnover pct. (3rd, 24.9), offensive rebound pct. (4th, 37.3), turnover margin (4th, +5.3), steals (6th, 9.2) and turnovers forced (9th, 17.6).
- Baylor has advanced to the NCAA second Round for the sixth time in the Drew era (4-1), all since 2010.
- Baylor won its first conference championship in 71 seasons (1950 Southwest Conference) earlier this year.
Winning is a habit! Coach Drew allows all of us to have input in every aspect of the program. It teaches us the ins and outs of the business! The process to build Championship habits off and on the court works! pic.twitter.com/S8g7ab9car— Alvin Brooks III (@Coach_AB3) March 20, 2021
- What an unhinged picture that his assistant coach Alvin Brooks III chose for Baylor head coach Scott Drew in this tweet.
- D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8, redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
- Tyler Wahl, 6-foot-9, sophomore, forward, No. 5
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
- Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11, senior, forward, No. 35
- Flo Thamba, 6-foot-10, junior, forward, No. 0
- Mark Vital, 6-foot-5, redshirt senior, forward, No. 11
- Jared Butler, 6-foot-3, junior, guard, No. 12
- MaCio Teague, 6-foot-4, redshirt senior, guard, No. 31
- Davion Mitchell, 6-foot-2, redshirt junior, guard, No. 45
This sponsored post was published according to our guiding principles.