Wisconsin Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Wisconsin Badgers
Big Ten (23-11, 12-6)

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Everybody seems to forget about Wisconsin way too easily. The Badgers came into the 2012-2013 campaign without their superstar point guard Jordan Taylor, so many wrote them off. But Wisconsin rarely has stars and Coach Bo Ryan does not need them. A slow start to the season which, in retrospect, was not that bad of a start with losses coming to Florida, Creighton, Virginia and Marquette, had the Badgers off of the national radar. A mid-January win at Indiana put an end to that.

Big Wins: 1/15 at Indiana (64-59), 2/9 Michigan (65-62), 2/17 Ohio State (71-49)
Bad Losses: 11/28 Virginia (54-60), 1/19 at Iowa (66-70), 3/3 Purdue (56-69)
Coach: Bo Ryan (12 seasons at Wisconsin)

Why They Can Surprise:
The story is the same every year for Wisconsin. This is a group that plays great defense and rarely turns the ball over. They have big guys that can shoot and guards that are comfortable in the paint. The frontcourt is led by 6-10 center Jared Berggren. He is capable of knocking down the long ball, but Berggren does most of his scoring in the paint. He is also a solid rebounder and easily the best shot blocker on the squad. Ryan Evans and Mike Bruesewitz usually start beside Berggren. Evans is only 6-6, but he is a beast on the glass. Evans is basically the only player on the team who should stay inside the arc and his shooting, both beyond the arc and at the stripe, leaves much to be desired. However, he is a good scorer around the basket. Sam Dekker will get the occasional start, but he has proven to be a great offensive spark off of the bench. The super freshman is a very consistent shooter and a fine all-around player.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Replacing Taylor was never going to be an easy task, but the Badgers still ranked fourth in the nation with just 9.6 turnovers per game. It was hoped that freshman George Marshall would step into the starting point guard role, but that did not happen on a consistent basis. Marshall has done well when he is in the game, but Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson earned the starting roles. Brust is the big time scoring threat who can consistently knock down the long ball. Jackson may not do much scoring, but he is a tough defender and emerged as a solid passer as well. There is not a great point guard running this team, but just about everybody on the floor can run the point. Lacking that backcourt leader could be a cause for concern during the 2013 NCAA Tournament when backcourt experience is at a premium.

Probable Starters:
Traevon Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 2.8 apg
Ben Brust, Junior, Guard, 11.2 ppg, 2.3 apg, 5.2 rpg
Ryan Evans, Senior, Forward, 10.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Mike Bruesewitz, Senior, Forward, 6.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Jared Berggren, Senior, Center, 11.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.1 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Sam Dekker, Freshman, Forward, 9.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Frank Kaminsky, Sophomore, Forward, 4.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg
George Marshall, Freshman, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.0 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.1 (206th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.0 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.5 (214, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (39, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (52, 4)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.6 (183, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 63.0 (325, 12)
Rebound Margin: 4.3 (54, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (127, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.6 (4, 1)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Montana
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Vanderbilt
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to 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

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules