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Open Game Thread: K-State vs. Wisconsin

Who: K-State vs. Wisconsin
What: NCAA Tournament, Second Round
Where: Omaha, Neb. | Qwest Center Omaha (17,560)
When: March 22, 2008 | 3:20 p.m.
Media: 1350 KMAN | CBS

Just want to let you all know that I did not end up face-down in a gutter in Manhattan after the game Thursday, although the place was delirious with joy.  It was fun to sit around with some K-State fans who have more memories of the past than I do.

But anyway, on to the present.  I'll do a short preview of the Wisconsin Badgers here in the open thread because I haven't had time to get a separate one up.

Wisconsin Badgers
Record: 29-4
RPI: 11
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 115.0 (29th)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 81.4 (1st)

(All stats courtesy Ken Pomeroy.  Efficiency stats calculated based on the number of points scored or allowed per 100 possessions.)

Top Players
Brian Butch: 12.5 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game, 45.7 FG%
Marcus Landry: 11.2 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 46.9 FG%
Joe Krabbenhoft: 7.6 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, 48.4 FG%

As you can tell, Wisconsin is one damn fine defensive team.  They don't score a lot of points per game (67.4), but as their efficiency stats above indicate, they don't waste a lot of possessions, either.  In other words, a difficult matchup for anybody.

One stat to watch will again be rebounding.  Against USC, the Cats held a 17-rebound advantage, and grabbed more offensive rebounds than USC grabbed defensive rebounds.  Wisconsin outrebounds its opponents by six boards per game, so it will be crucial for the Cats to even that stat or even outrebound the Badgers.

One final note: Wisconsin plays a very short rotation, with only seven players averaging double-figure minutes.  I certainly don't want a repeat of the USC game's officiating, where everytime you breathed on an opposing player a foul was called, but depth would appear to favor K-State in this one.

One more win gets us to Detroit.

Go Cats!