The Wisconsin Badgers picked up a grinding win over the Dayton Flyers 43-42 in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. Today, they move onto round two where they will face off with the 3rd ranked and defending National Champion Kansas Jayhawks. Note, this is also the game thread. It’s Thanksgiving and I don't have time to write a second post so fire off in the comments here.
Who (are the Badgers playing): Kansas
What (are they): Jayhawks
When: 10 AM CT
Where: Atlantis, Bahamas
How (to watch): ESPN
Wisconsin’s next test will be a tough one as they take on the defending National Champs in the Kansas Jayhawks. This year Kansas comes into the season loaded with talent once again. The biggest returning player is Jalen Wilson who comes into this game on a torrid pace. Currently, Wilson is averaging 24.5 points per game while also grabbing 9.2 rebounds per game.
Beyond Wilson is 5-star talent Grady Dick who is the biggest piece of Kansas’s 2022 recruiting class. In the opening round of the Atlantis Tournament, Dick had a phenomenal performance pouring in 25 points and shooting 50% from beyond the arc in the contest. Dick is a solid favorite to be a top freshman in the country and will be a huge test for Wisconsin’s perimeter defense which has thus far been very solid.
Overall, Kansas returns two starters from last year but many of the new faces are just as talented as in years past. These types of programs don’t rebuild, they just reload, and that is exactly what Kansas has here.
What to watch for Wisconsin
The starters: Wisconsin was able to pick up a victory in their opening-round win over Dayton, but the starters for Wisconsin weren’t huge contributors on the offensive end. Steven Crowl had a tough 9 points on 3/11 shooting. Tyler Wahl had just 3 points on 1/8 shooting. Chucky Hepburn continued to struggle as he went 1/10 shooting and had just two points on the day. Wisconsin will need to get more from them to have any sort of shot here.
The perimeter defense: As said above, Wisconsin will have to really focus on defending the three-point line against the Jayhawks. The Badgers have faired really well in that area thus far on the year holding opponents to just 12% (9/73) from beyond the arc in four games. Kansas comes into this contest shooting 30% from deep. If the Badgers want to win this game that will have to remain the output for their opponent here.