South Region Featured Game - #12 Oregon vs. #5 Wisconsin
Oregon could be the cagiest 12-seed to back in the South Region!Our own James Scully highlights the clash between Oregon and Wisconsin in his South Region Game of the Week! Check out his full break down for the South region by clicking here.
Oregon will battle Wisconsin on Friday, March 22nd at 4:30pm ET.
#12 Oregon vs #5 Wisconsin -1.5A match-up between teams heading in different directions and no evidence suggests a turnaround.
Oregon has not resembled the squad that lost its first two Pac-12 games against Oregon St. and UCLA, and opened the season 11-8 SU, reeling off eight straight wins by an average 17.75-point margin behind top-notch point guard and defensive play. They earned a NCAA tourney berth when capping an outstanding four-game run in the conference tournament with a 20-point victory over Washington.
Wisconsin has been a shell of the team that started 9-3 SU in the Big 10 and ranked in the top-10 nationally by fewest turnovers per game during the regular season, turning over the ball 17 times against a short-handed Nebraska team on fumes before a dreadful double-digit loss against sloppy Michigan St., who arguably played their worst game of the season with Winston hobbled in the Big 10 tourney semifinals. Badgers don’t have viable scoring options beyond big man Happ and were seeded too high in the five-slot. They enter on a 2-7-1 ATS slide.
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Oregon one of the hottest teams in the tourney and enter on an 8-0 ATS roll. Pritchard has emerged as a premier point guard and is capable of delivering a big bucket when needed. King can score as well from all over the court. Ducks have been dominant defensively and take advantage of teams like Wisconsin, who rank 210th nationally with 12.8 assists per game and lacks a quality point guard (Davison averages 1.8-apg). Oregon underachieved during the first half of the season but gained an identity after NBA-bound freshman Bol Bol went down with a season-ending injury, with coach Dana Altman inserting four 6-foot-9 players into the starting line-up.
“In my 39 years of coaching, I’ve never seen a team grow up that much that fast,” Altman said.
Long and aggressive, Oregon brings an attitude to the defensive end. Wooten has been an absolute force inside and Wisconsin won’t get easy buckets. Ducks are excellent guarding the perimeter as well (allowing only 29.4% three-point percentage) and have held four of the last five opponents to 54 or less points.
Oregon enters this game with all the momentum and confidence. They wear down teams with their style and Wisconsin will be no exception. Badgers really struggle to score at times, failing to reach 70 points in 12 of the last 14 games, and are not playing defense with the same intensity as the Ducks. This game offers appeal as one of the best bets of the first round, love Oregon to cover!
Scully's NCAA South Free Pick - Oregon +1.5