West Region

Saturday, March 22nd 7:47 PM EST on TNT

6 Baylor Bears vs. 2 Wisconsin Badgers

Game Line: Wisconsin -3 Game Total: 136.5 (from JustBet)

The upstart Baylor Bears take on the #2 seeded Wisconsin Badgers in the West region Semifinals on Thursday from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The Wisconsin Badgers, coached by Bo Ryan have won 11 out of their last 13 games. They advanced to the sweet 16 by defeating Oregon 85-77. The game was a lot closer than the score would indicate, and the Badgers were actually trailing at the half. They ended up outscoring the Ducks by 20 points in the second half to win the game. All 5 starters for the Wisconsin scored in double figures, which shows they have multiple options on the offensive end. They average 73.5 ppg while shooting just under 46% from the field this season. In the tournament they are averaging 80 ppg while shooting just over 52% from the field. 7-foot junior forward Frank Kaminsky can be a force, averaging 13.6 points and grabbing 6.2 rebounds per game. Defensively they are allowing 64.1 ppg and 43.1% shooting from the opposition.

The Baylor Bears are one of the hottest teams right now, winners of eight out of their last nine games. Their only loss was in the Big 12 conference final to Iowa State. The Bears are playing a nasty brand of defense, as was evident in their third round dismantling of Creighton. The Baylor defense held Creighton to 22 of 55 shooting, and standout Doug McDermott to just 15 points as the Bears cruised to an 85-55 victory. 6’9” forward Cory Jefferson and 7’1” Isaiah Austin are both averaging 15 ppg a piece, while combining for just under 14 rebounds a game.

I’m grabbing the points with the Baylor Bears on Thursday night. The Wisconsin Badgers have some good shooters on their team, and they are efficient on the offensive end with 1.52 assist to turnover ratio. However Creighton was an even better shooting team and the Bears’ zone defense and their length and size gave the Bluejays fits. I don’t think the Badgers can match the size and the skill in the paint either, as Austin and Jefferson have shown that they’re a load to handle. I went against the Bears in the second round, but after seeing both Wisconsin and Baylor play I can truly see that the Bears are playing at a much higher level. I look for Baylor to advance to elite 8 and give either Arizona or San Diego State all they can handle.

Baylor Bears vs. Wisconsin Badgers Free NCAABB Pick: Baylor +3 Over 136.5

Baylor Bears vs. Wisconsin Badgers Game Prediction: Baylor 74 Wisconsin 69

 

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