Wisconsin Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Wisconsin Badgers
Big Ten (31-3, 16-2)


After Wisconsin’s incredible run last season, it was popular to believe they would be able to achieve the same sort of success this season.  The Badgers did not disappoint.  Led by Big Ten and likely national player of the year Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin stood atop the Big Ten wire-to-wire.   Even with a major injury to Traevon Jackson, the Badgers have been a force for five months.  Another Final Four is in their sights.

Big Wins: 11/27 vs Georgetown (68-65), 11/28 vs Oklahoma (69-56), 3/1 Michigan State (68-61)
Bad Losses: 12/3 Duke (70-80), 1/11 at Rutgers (62-67), 2/24 at Maryland (53-59)
Coach: Bo Ryan

Why They Can Surprise:
Wisconsin is one of the most complete teams in the country.  They have well-balanced talent.  They play with discipline and can change styles in order to find the most effective manner to win games.  Like most Bo Ryan teams, Wisconsin’s pace of play is predicated on strong defense and methodical half-court offense.  The Badgers held teams to 55 points throughout the regular season while their offense scored over 70 points per game.  Ryan’s teams are routinely among the most disciplined.  They were the most efficient offensive team in terms of ball possession.  They averaged the least amount of turnovers in the country.  They guard without fouling and get teams out of sync.  Kaminsky is one of those players that can carry a team on a given night.  The seven-footer has an inside-out game that makes him extremely difficult to guard.  Surround him with Nigel Hayes, Josh Gasser, and even Bronson Koenig – playing great in Jackson’s stead – and you have a complete roster that can beat anyone on any given night.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Two things could hurt the Badgers in the tournament: pace and Jackson’s absence.  Usually the Badgers are the ones dictating the game’s tempo, but if they find themselves down in the second half, they are going to have to abandon what they do best and try and run the floor.  They are not at their best when they are running full court.  Wisconsin expects Jackson to be back at some point during the NCAA Tournament, but the timetable is uncertain.  They are obviously a better team with Jackson in the backcourt.  They would be better served having his experience.  Once he does return, how will folding him back into the lineup affect team chemistry?  It likely will not take long, but it is certainly a question Ryan will have to address when Jackson is ready to play.  The Badgers can certainly be beat.  It just will not be easy.

Probable Starters:
Bronson Koenig, Sophomore, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 2.4 apg
Josh Gasser, Senior, Guard, 6.0 ppg, 1.7 apg
Nigel Hayes, Sophomore, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Sam Dekker, Junior, Forward, 13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Frank Kaminsky, Senior, Forward, 18.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Traevon Jackson, Senior, Guard, 9.4 ppg, 2.9 apg
Duje Dukan, Senior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.7 (73rd in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.7 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.0 (22, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (99, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (128, 9)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.1 (137, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.4 (13, 3)
Rebound Margin: 6.1 (25, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (191, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 7.6 (1, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over American
2014    NCAA    Third Round win over Oregon
2014    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Baylor
2014    NCAA    Regional Final win over Arizona
2014    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Kentucky
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Mississippi
2012    NCAA    Second Round win over Montana
2012    NCAA    Third Round win over Vanderbilt
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss t Syracuse
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Belmont
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Kansas State
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Butler
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Wofford
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Cornell
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Florida State
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Xavier
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Cal State Fullerton
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Kansas State
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Davidson
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to UNLV

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules