Hoopcap: Koenig and Hayes Carries Wisconsin
Wisconsin Badgers head into the NCAA Tournament with many questions. They had a successfully Big Ten Tournament, but NCAA Tournament Committee seeded Wisconsin much lower than anyone expected. Badgers talked all week about how they had a ‘chip on their shoulder.’ Wisconsin looked much better than Virginia Tech team as they were in control for a majority of the game. Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes led the way which feels like almost like a death and taxes thing in March Madness.
Koenig and Wisconsin lit the 2-3 zone on fire
There were times as a Marquette fan when watching Buzz Williams coach, I wondered what the hell was he thinking? I had that same thought last night when he stayed in a 2-3 zone for the whole game. Despite the fact that Koenig rained in a college record eight threes. Wisconsin added five more totaling in 13 and shooting 41 percent from deep.
Cleaning up offensive boards
Going in on the 2-3 zone further, Wisconsin cleaned up on the offensive boards with 17. They had an unbelievable amount of second chance opportunities. Nigel Hayes pulled down six by himself, and Khalil Iverson also played one of the his best games down the stretch. Big moment for Iverson who missed the Big Ten Tournament due to a death in his family.
Free throws went in, finally
We talked about earlier this week that if Wisconsin wanted to win this week, they need to better from the free-throw line. Wisconsin made 19 of 25 from the line. Iverson and Hayes led the way in that category with great efforts from the line. Iverson made seven of 10, and Hayes made eight of nine. That’s huge for Wisconsin. If this trend can continue, they’re going to have a shot in the second round.
Players of the Game: Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Zach LeDay (Virginia Tech)
Next Up: The second round game versus Villanova should be a doozy. As some have noticed, this could be a Sweet 16 game versus a second round matchup. Wisconsin’s three-point defense will factor into this one again with Nova’s three-point shooting. These are probably two of the most experienced teams in the tournament which should make for an excellent basketball game. Wisconsin goes for their fourth straight Sweet 16 Saturday afternoon.