The Wisconsin Badgers will attempt to be the first Big Ten team to reach the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Basketball tournament when they take the court tonight against the Kansas State Wildcats in West Regional action from Tuscon, Arizona.
Wisconsin advanced to this point by knocking off the Belmont Bruins by a score of 72-58, while Kansas State advanced with a 73-68 victory over the Utah State Aggies.
At SB Nation's Wisconsin blog, Bucky's 5th Quarter, they know what the Badgers have to do to come out of this one with the victory.
More generally, the winner of this game will likely succeed in two main areas: rebounding and free throw shooting.
Kansas State is a phenomenal offensive rebounding team, grabbing nearly 41% of their own caroms. That is the fourth-best rate in the country. Jamar Samuels and seven-foot reserve Jordan Henriquez-Roberts provide the rebounding support alongside Kelly. Conversely, Wisconsin is the eight-best team in terms of preventing offensive rebounds.
The problem for the Wildcats is that their aggressive style leads to a ton of fouls. They are among the worst at the number of free throw attempts allowed per field goal attempt. Kansas State also shoots a low percentage (65.9) from the stripe as a team.
Once again, though, UW is on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Badgers usually settle for jump shots at an alarming rate. However, the team converts its few opportunities at the free throw line at a record-breaking 82.3% clip. If the team plays a balanced game offensively by getting Leuer the ball in position down low could find themselves in a great position to advance.
Over at Bring On The Cats, SB Nation's blog for all things Kansas State, we get a slightly. . .disconcerting. . .set of predictions from the folks that cover the Wildcats.
- BracketCat: Wisconsin 66, Kansas State 62
- GAMER: Wisconsin 62, Kansas State 60
- Pomeroy: Wisconsin 67, Kansas State 61
- Sagarin: Wisconsin 68, Kansas State 64
Wow. . .looks like the Cats are up against it in this one.
You can see this one starting at 7:40 PM Central time on TNT, which is channel 245 on your DirecTV box. Be sure to check your listings for channel in your particular neck of the woods.