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Wisconsin vs Cornell: UW Badger Basketball Preview

UW Badger Basketball
4 Wisconsin vs 12 Cornell
March Madness East Regional
Thursday 3/21/2010
Time: Sunday, 1:50 PM CT
Location: Jacksonville,FL

(live blog coming up)

Badger Game Preview - First Easy Trey:
1. The Badgers are 24-8 and and the number 4 seed in the East,Cornell is 28-4 and the number 12 seed they beat Temple handedly 78- 65. Cornell won the Ivy League and was a trendy pick despite being a 12 seed to beat Temple due to their senior leadership and strong showing against Kansas. Of course the loss by Kansas yesterday shows that even they have tough games, so who knows maybe that Cornell game isn't as impressive.

2. Cornell will start Louis Dale and Chris Wroblewski at the guards, Jon Jaques and Ryan Wittman at the forwards and they have a true center in Jeff Foote. All of the starters are seniors except Wroblewski. Senior guard Geoff Reeves is the first man off the bench and averages 5.3 points per game. Ryan Wittman the senior forward from Eden Prarie led the team during the regular season with 17.6 points per game, Jeff Foote had 12.4, Dale at 12.2, Wroblewski 8.9, and Jon Jaques at 6.9. Against Temple Dale had 21, Wittman had 20 and 16 for Foote. Cornell shot 56.3% from the field and 39.1% from three. One thing to keep in mind is that they had only 10 turnovers versus a very solid Temple defense.

3. The Badgers are looking to move on to face Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen, but if you listen to the media they have long odds to do so despite being a 4 seed against a 12. Why are the media in love with Cornell, well besides being good TV Cornell leads the nation in three point shooting percentage with 5 players that average over 42% from distance. In addition the media likes the fact they have 8 seniors who have been to the dance for 10 straight years, don't know what that is about as we would go with the team that has been their every year since the Cornell players were 11 and they don't play 8 anyways. In addition all of these guys live in the same house which builds unity, which is great but this is a tight Badger team as well.

Badger Game Preview - Fast Break Keys to the Game:

1. What the media has yet to really focus on is Cornell is a straight up potential match up nightmare for the Badgers and it has nothing to do with them being seniors, having depth or whatever else they have mentioned. The first problem is that they are clearly a good three point shooting team and the Badgers have had lapses all year closing out on the three point shooter, Bo Ryan needs to get in the players grill on this before the game or the game could get ugly. The Badgers are fully capable of sticking on those three point shooters but the lapses kill them, Taylor isn't guilty of it often but both Hughes and Bohannon are known to go for 5 minute stretches where they are 3 steps late on the defense. In fact it was Hughes who played the extremely poor defense not be in the zip code of open shooters against Wofford that let them get back in the game at the start of the second half.

2. Jeff Foote is a true 7'-0" 265 pound center who supposedly played well against Cole Aldrich and Kansas, we didn't see it so we don't know what to tell you he only averaged 12 points per game in the Ivy League and we doubt they have a lot of skilled 7'-0" footers lurking around to stop him. If the Badgers were without Leuer Foote is probably a nightmare but like we said the Ivy League had this guy figured out pretty well, hopefully Bo Ryan has a contact out there so Bucky can do the same. We do know this guy is no Omar Samhan so lets hope the Badgers don't make him look like the Samhan.

3. Are JBo and Nankivil going to get it going on offense against Cornell making the Badgers the ultra tough team we know they can be, sorry we have no clue but we do know one thing the Badgers play defense and don't turn the ball over. If the Badgers do what they do in 98% of games by playing that defense and not turning the ball over this game should be tight and a winnable game. We would get Evans in this game for his defense and every crazy shot he takes gets him 100 times up the hill in the summer training sessions. We would also get Wilson off the bench if everyone is cold on offense and just do a quick heat check on him.

Badger Game Preview Prediction:
This should be a totally different game for the Badgers on offense compared to Wofford as the Badgers should be running their normal offense instead of trying to take advantage of the mismatch near the bucket. That switch from their normal offense really made the Badgers look ugly but we think the offense will look much better and the Badgers 4 turnovers to Cornell's 15 will carry the day, Badgers 69 Cornell 65. Bring on the Cats, we hope.


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