Breakdown: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Arizona will get a shot at reaching the Final Four for the first time in Sean Miller's tenure against Wisconsin on Saturday. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, a score prediction, and more.



Arizona vs. Wisconsin
Mar. 29 at 5:49 pm
TV: TBS
Honda Center

ARIZONA

WISCONSIN
Overall Record 33-4 (.892) 29-7 (.886)
Location Record 7-1 (.875) on a neutral court

1-0 (1.000) at the Honda Center

7-1 (.875) on a neutral court

1-0 (1.000) at the Honda Center

Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 73.2 (98) 58.3 (5) 73.8 (88) 63.8 (39)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 7.6 (6) 1.7 (131)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
6.1 (170) 4.9 (299)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.3 (28) 12.4 (197)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 47.1 (37) 46.1 (78)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 36.1 (89) 37.6 (53)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 38 (5) 42.8 (128)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #5 #15
Ranking:
AP Poll
#4 #12

RPI

2 (.6664) 6 (.6382)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Even
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Traveon Jackson (6-2, 208, Jr.)

McConnell has played well this tournament, as has Jackson. Both players are similar in that they tend to make really big plays towards the end of the game and are the emotional leaders of their team. Jackson has better scoring ability than his numbers may indicate, but that scoring tends to come in spurts. McConnell has the defensive ability to contain Jackson and vice versa, so we would be surprised if either player gets a big advantage. If they do, chances are that team is winning.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Ben Brust (6-1, 196, Sr.)

Johnson's biggest challenge will be to push Brust off the three-point line and he has had success against that type of player this season. Brust is not bigger than Johnson nor is he as athletic, so we don't see any reason why Johnson should not have his normal defensive success. On the other hand, you get the feeling that the end of the SDSU game gave Johnson some momentum going into Saturday's game. This is a pretty good matchup for Arizona, especially if Johnson is able to bounce back from his terrible offensive performance for about 38 minutes on Thursday.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Even
SF: Gabe York ( 6-3, 180, So.) vs. Josh Gasser (6-3, 190, Jr.)

This matchup is just fine for York, as he and Gasser are relatively similar players. Both are going to hurt their opponents with jump shots and if those are not falling, there is not much else there. Gasser can get hot, but he is not a very aggressive player and tends to just let things come to him, which is fine for Wisconsin. He takes about five shots per game and two or three of those are from behind the arc. It's kind of feast or famine with Gasser and you can say the same about York. This one is about as even as it gets.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Sam Dekker (6-8, 220, So.)

Dekker is a solid player, but this is probably a nightmare for him. He may be similar in size to Gordon, but he is not nearly as quick or athletic and we are guessing Gordon is going to take advantage of that. Dekker is the exact type of player Gordon loves to guard because he sticks on the perimeter and isn't going to overpower anybody. He does average six rebounds per game, so Gordon is going to have to be aware of that, but we would be surprised if Gordon does not outplay him.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Wisconsin
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 234, Jr.0

This is really an intriguing matchup because of Kaminsky's ability to step out and hit the three. Wisconsin loves pump fakes and Tarczewski tends to struggle with them, so discipline is going to be a factor here. Kaminsky actually is not much of a better player than Tarczewski, but his potential to score is higher. He likes to go for an early three to open everything up inside and if he is not hitting his jumper, he tends to be ineffective. If Tarczewski can take away that outside shot, Arizona's chances of winning increase a ton. We're going to give the advantage to Kaminsky, but it would not be a surprise to see it go the other way.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Arizona has the best sixth man in the tournament in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and you can make an argument he has been as important as any of his teammates. Beyond that, Elliott Pitts has given a few decent minutes per game and Jordin Mayes will basically play a few and be asked to not make mistakes. This is the type of game where Wisconsin is likely going to have to play Nigel Hayes more in order to counter Arizona's lineup with Hollis-Jefferson. Hayes is a very powerful kid and brings some athleticism to the Badgers. Beyond that, the Badgers will give some minutes to Duje Dukan and Bronson Koenig, but their impact has been minimal as of late.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Even
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Bo Ryan

Bo Ryan has to be considered one of the best coaches in the game and you saw what happens when you give him four days to prepare for a bad coach. However, Sean Miller is anything but a bad coach. We know this is a theme in the tournament, but coaching won't win or lose this game. Both teams are going to do what they do and whoever does it best will win.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
72 70
Prediction: This is a tough one because Arizona likes to feast off turnovers and the Badgers don't really turn it over. Arizona has had success against teams like Wisconsin because the Wildcats extend their defense in order to take the three-point shot away. The Badgers aren't any bigger than the Wildcats and are not nearly as athletic. We expect a close game, but we just have a feeling Arizona is due for a Final Four.


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