2015 NCAA tournament preview: Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 31-3, 16-2 Big Ten

Head coach: Bo Ryan (14th season)

Season summary: Returning four starters from a team that was one shot away from playing for a national championship a year ago, this year's Badgers may be better positioned to make a deep March run. Winners of 16 of its last 17 games, Wisconsin blew through the Big Ten this year on its way to titles in both the regular season and conference tournament. The Badgers picked up key conference wins against Ohio State and Michigan State and toppled top-four seeds Oklahoma and Georgetown in early-season nonconference contests.

For the Badgers, it starts and ends with Frank the Tank—7-foot senior Frank Kaminsky (18.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 39.5% 3FG). One of the front-runners for National Player of the Year, Kaminsky is the nation's biggest matchup problem, capable of taking any player in the post or stepping outside to knock down a clutch three. His supporting cast, which includes junior Sam Dekker (13.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and sophomore Nigel Hayes (12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG), give Wisconsin weapons at all five positions.

If there's one word to describe the Badgers, it is precision. On both ends of the floor, this team is a well-oiled machine. The two biggest indications of that could be the team's defense—which ranks ninth in the nation by allowing a paltry 56.1 points per game—and its free-throw shooting, which at 76.3 percent ranks 11th in the country.

How they make a run: Kaminsky bulldozes through any and all challengers and Wisconsin's ball movement and lockdown defense stifles opponents to send the Badgers back to the Final Four.

How they falter: Teams that push the tempo cause the meticulous Badgers problems, and No. 2 seed Arizona's size and athleticism triumphs in one of the tournament's most exciting battles.


Share and discuss “2015 NCAA tournament preview: Wisconsin Badgers” on social media.