"I'd say they are fairly typical of Big Tens teams of the past in terms of preferring a half court style and being physical, tough on the offensive boards," Lute Olson said. The Badgers are a half-court team that plays a swing offense. Expect to see their players roam all over the floor. The big men will stray out to the perimeter, while the guards will try to post up.
"You have to be able to defend them all over the court," Olson said.
Usually the Badgers play two post player and three perimeter guys, but occasionally they'll play with four out and one in. They used that line-up quite a bit in their loss to Indiana in the Big-10 Tournament.
They are not a great three-point shooting team, but do put up a lot of them. Despite shooting just .342 from behind the arc they have put up 553 three pointers. Conversely, the Wildcats have attempted just 418 threes.
The Badgers rarely get out and run, doing so occasionally after steals or turnovers, but they won't push it after missed shots. Expect the Cats to try and dictate the pace and try to run whenever possible.
On defense they are strictly man-to-man and the Cats will try to use their superior athleticism to try to take the Badgers off the dribble. Even if the Wildcats are able to get into the lane, they need to be able to shoot over the tall Badger big men or kick out to open shooters.
Although the Wildcats have been great at forcing turnovers, don't expect the Badgers to give them any help. Wisconsin is a tough, fundamental team. They only commit 11.6 turnovers a game, tied for ninth best in the nation. Of course the Cats force 19.5 turnovers a game, fourth best in the country.
Like Arizona, the Badgers have had a rocky season. They started the season 12-2 and has gone 5-9 since. Like the Wildcats, they have had some personnel issues. They lost Greg Stiesma and Marcus Landry, while Ray Nixon is nursing an injured ankle and has been limited in practice.
They have something else in common with the Wildcats. Their best player is a small forward who may be better inside than he is outside. Alando Tucker is in the 6-5 range and can do some damage while posting up players. He is averaging 19.3 ppg and 5.7 rpg and should be the defensive assignment for the similar Hassan Adams.
The Badgers are sparked by point guard Kammron Taylor, a guard known as much for his resemblance to comedian Chris Rock, as he is for basketball ability. Although overlooked at times, Taylor is averaging 14.8 ppg.
The problem for the Wildcats is that they are not the offensive team they have been in the past. They don't score in the 80's and lack an outside threat. In season's past they'd try to run the Badgers off the floor, but it remains to be seen if they can force enough turnovers to spark extra offense.
The Badgers' other weakness is a lack of inside depth, something the Cats lack as well. Kirk Walters will need to step up his game after a dismal Pac-10 Tournament.