Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oro Valley Real Estate Elite 8

Arizona Wildcats (2) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (1), 6:09 p.m. ET

It was just 363 days ago that Sean Miller's Wildcats fell a bucket short of the Final Four. That loss, 64-63 in overtime, came against Bo Ryan's Wisconsin squad. Now, following a tough win against Xavier, Arizona gets a second shot at the Badgers.
Badgers' star Frank Kaminsky, who scored 28 points in last year's Elite Eight game, is back. Kaminsky had a ho-hum 19-point performance against North Carolina in the Thursday's Sweet 16 match-up. However, the emergence of forward Sam Dekker might be more frightening for Arizona.
Dekker exploded for 23 points against the Tar Heels on 10-of-15 shooting. After scoring just 4 points in the Big 10 championship game, Dekker has scored 20, 17 and 23 points, respectively, in the Bardgers' three NCAA tournament games.
Arizona will counter the Badgers' dominating front court with an experienced and controlled back court. Senior guard T.J. McConnell scored a team-high 17 points against Xavier, including a clutch 3-pointer in the final minutes.
The Wildcats have the length and toughness down low to defend Wisconsin's interior attack, but 'Zona will have to find a way to draw fouls against the Badgers, who only foul an average of 12 times a game - the fewest in the country.
Arizona will want to speed the game up, but the Badgers will want to slow the tempo and work to find the best possible option. The team that dictates tempo will most likely advance to the Final Four.