Three-Point Shot: No.7 Oregon

Before second-seed Wisconsin faces off with seventh-seed Oregon Saturday evening at the Bradley Center, Badger Nation looks at the three burning questions we're looking to have answered.

After securing an impressive 40-point victory over American to move on to the NCAA tournament third round, second-seed Wisconsin will have to be prepared to face an up-tempo and athletic Oregon team. Like Wisconsin, the Ducks were able to control their game against Brigham Young from the start in route to a 19-point victory.

Oregon and Wisconsin have faced two common opponents (North Dakota and Illinois). Like the Badgers, the Ducks came out victorious in both matchups. This will be the first matchup between the Badgers and the Ducks since 1990, where Wisconsin was able to pull out a two-point victory on the road.

In this Badger Nation feature, we will look at the three keys or questions for Wisconsin to have success against Oregon in the NCAA tournament.

Lay up: Can the Badgers strike another balance on offense?

Wisconsin was able to start the first and second half strong against American by feeding the basketball down low to Frank Kaminsky or by finding ways to attack the hoop. That production was able to set the tone early for Wisconsin and even if American took away the post, the Badgers were able to make them pay by knocking down their jump shots.

That won't come as easy against Oregon as it did against American, but the Badgers will need to try and find some sort of balance on offense to keep the Ducks defense honest.

Wisconsin will once again try and get Kaminsky or Nigel Hayes going down low to try and open up the rest of the offense. Doing that will be key for Ben Brust and Josh Gasser to be able to knock down 3-pointers when they get open.

Although Gasser only went 1-for-2 from the field against American, he's shooting 45 percent from three on the season and 41 percent from three in his career.

Traevon Jackson may be the x-factor from three. Although he's shooting 39.2 percent on the season, he has become a much more consistent 3-point shooter over the last five games - shooting 63 percent from distance.

Oregon's length could bother Brust some in trying to get his shot off but he has done a better job of late dealing with teams that are longer on defense. In the loss against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament, he was able to score 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting, with all three of his makes coming from three. If Brust can find ways to get open through screens, he'll have to be able to knock his shots down.

Brust has hit multiple triples in the last four games and is currently three behind Wisconsin's record holder Tim Locum (1988-1991) who holds the Wisconsin record with 227 triples in his career.

If Wisconsin can make their shots on offense, they could become a difficult team for Oregon to defend and could overcome the Ducks' athleticism and length.

Mid-range jumper: Can Frank Kaminsky have a bounce back performance?

Kaminsky wasn't as dominant as he would have liked to have been against an overmatched American team, only scoring eight points, six of which came on Wisconsin's first four offensive possessions.

Even though Kaminsky failed to reach double figures against American, he has consistently shown this year to be able to bounce back on the offensive end of the floor. Oregon did struggle to slow down BYU's Eric Mika, who had 15 points and went 11-for-16 in the game.

If Wisconsin can get the ball down low into the post to Kaminsky and if he comes out with the same type of energy he did against American, he should be able to get some easy points around the hoop or opportunities at the free throw line. Kaminsky needs to try and do damage inside to make the Wisconsin offense balanced.

3-pointer: Can Wisconsin slow Oregon's offense down?

It's clear that Oregon wants to be able to push the basketball up and down the floor and get some easy points in transition. Oregon is averaging 81.8 points a game, which ranks 11th in the country. Although the Badgers haven't faced too many teams who can score the basketball like the Ducks, they were able to hold Iowa – an offense that likes to get out and run - below its scoring average in Wisconsin's two victories this season.

Although allowing their opponents to score 74 points a game, the Ducks are forcing teams into coughing it up 13.8 times a game, capitalizing on their miscues by converting them in to points averaging 17.7 points a game off of turnovers.

Oregon has been able to force a majority of its turnovers off of steals on the year as the team averages about eight a game. Joseph Young not only leads the team in scoring (18.6 points) but leads the team with 1.3 steals per game.

Jackson will have to be careful with the ball, especially he has a tendency to cough up the ball an average of 2.2 times a game. Jackson did a good job in the opening-round game against American by playing within himself and finding shots that he can knock down.

Sam Dekker hasn't had a problem turning the basketball over this season (1.1 turnovers), but will be a little loose at times by bringing up his dribble too high. If Dekker isn't careful, he could possibly get the basketball poked away with the Ducks' active hands.

In addition to limiting its mistakes, Wisconsin will have to make sure to keep contain of Young and have a hand in his face at all times. Young can create a shot or find an open look even if there's a little space between himself and his defender.

Elgin Cook, a Milwaukee native, was able to net a career-high with 23 points in Oregon's opening win, far above his 6.3-point average. Whoever draws the assignment of Cook will have to be ready because he'll try and pick up right where he left off. If Jackson or Dekker can disrupt him, he may slowly shy away from trying to score.


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