By Rex Sheild @RexfordJunior on March 25, 2014
After a thrilling comeback victory in the Round of 32 against Oregon, Bo Ryan's squad will look to extend its winning ways against Baylor. The Badgers couldn't stop a nosebleed in the first half in front of a pro-Wisconsin crowd, but slowed down Joseph Young and his teammates in transition while being lights out themselves from the field in the second half. The same game plan will need to be intact to survive Thursday's Sweet 16 contest.
The rainmaker from beyond the arc hit his school-record 238th three pointer to secure the team's third Sweet 16 in four years. The Hawthorn Woods, IL native hit a dry spell during the middle stretch of the season, but he has caught fire as of late. During the NCAA tournament, he is averaging 14.5 points per game and has made 8-of-15 three-point attempts.
Duje Dukan doesn't see the court a lot, but serves a valuable purpose for Bo Ryan's system thanks to his European-style game. He is an above-average rebounder, and has the ability to score in bunches with his three-point range. He also proved Saturday that he is willing to sacrifice his body for the betterment of the team, seen in his big charge take against the Ducks.
In the team's second-round matchup against American, Dekker was the aggressor offensively in the opening minutes of the game, beating defenders off the dribble and finishing in traffic. The sophomore forward will need to be aggressive against Baylor's long and athletic front line and keep the defense honest with a mid-range jumper, something that still isn't up to par.
John Gasser has been appointed to the opponent's top scorer this year, and they have come in all shapes and sizes. He held Virginia's 6-foot-6 forward Joe Harris, a smaller Doug McDermott, to two points on 1-of-10 shooting. He also held Michigan State's more-athletic forward Gary Harris to 3-of-20 shooting at the Kohl Center. Gasser will have a new challenge with Heslip, as he is more of a square-up shooter. Plus, he excels on shots off screens.
As Jackson goes, so do the Wisconsin Badgers. He has gone through the ups and downs this season, but his play dictates the Badgers' success. He was erratic in the first half against Oregon, turning the ball over three times, but he was a difference maker elsewhere on offensive in both games. He scored 17 points per game and added six rebounds. If Wisconsin survives the Bears in the Sweet 16, Jackson is the reason why.
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