Wisconsin Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Wisconsin Badgers

Big Ten (25-9, 12-6)

The Badgers had an up and down regular season, getting off to a 21-3 start before struggling as they closed out conference play, losing four out of five in February and finishing the season at 25-9.  The Badgers are one of the most experienced teams in America. They use the exact same starting line-up from last year’s Sweet Sixteen tournament run and have just two little used freshmen in the rotation. The seniors on this team have been to two Final Fours and aim to reach a third in four years.
Big Wins: 12/10 at Marquette (93-84), 1/21 at Minnesota (78-76), 2/19 Maryland (71-60)
Bad Losses: 2/12 Northwestern (59-66), 2/23 at Ohio State (73-83), 2/26 at Michigan State (74-84)
Coach: Greg Gard
Why They Can Surprise:
Wisconsin’s biggest strength may be its experience, but the best player on the Badgers is sophomore Ethan Happ. Happ nearly leads the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks while shooting an efficient 59 percent from the field. The combination of the phenomenal sophomore along with the four senior main-stays in the starting lineup is a promising recipe for tournament success. The seniors have won 11 tournament games in their careers, including two Final Fours and a championship game appearance. As is tradition with Wisconsin teams, this squad plays exceptional defense and doesn’t beat itself with turnovers or fouls. The Badgers give up just 61.6 points per game and only turn the ball over on 16 percent of their possessions.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Wisconsin simply hasn’t looked very good on the court this season. It will be tough to pick against them in the tournament with their winning experience, but this team hasn’t necessarily looked like a strong contender this year. They started the year off by getting handled in Omaha by Creighton and then got stomped by North Carolina in Maui. Their best non-conference win was on the road against a mediocre Marquette team. They lost by double digits in their only game against Purdue and lost four out of five conference games when the schedule got tough towards the end of the regular season. Wisconsin just doesn’t have a long list of quality wins. The offense has looked stagnant at times during conference play, hitting just 42.6 percent of their field goals and 34.0 percent of their threes in Big Ten play. The Badgers are also a poor free throw shooting team, which can hurt them in a tournament game.
Probable Starters:
Bronson Koenig, Senior, Guard, 14.0 ppg, 2.0 apg
Zak Showalter, Senior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 spg
Vitto Brown, Senior, Forward, 6.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Nigel Hayes, Senior, Forward, 13.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.7 apg
Ethan Happ, Sophomore, Forward, 13.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.1 bpg
Key Role Players:
D’Mitrik Trice, Freshman, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 1.8 apg
Khalil Iverson, Sophomore, Forward, 3.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Jordan Hill, Junior, Guard, 1.6 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.4 (196th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.6 (22, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (131, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (34, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (170, 8)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.9 (185, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.4 (333, 13)
Rebound Margin: 6.5 (22, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (162, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.0 (24, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round 0f 64 win over Pittsburgh
2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Xavier
2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Notre Dame
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Coastal Carolina
2015    NCAA Round of 32 win over Oregon
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over North Carolina
2015    NCAA Regional Final win over Arizona
2015    NCAA National Semifinal win over Kentucky
2015    NCAA National Final loss to Duke
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over American
2014    NCAA Round of 32 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 Round of 64 loss to Mississippi
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Montana
2012    NCAA Round of 32 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 3/5