The last Wisconsin faced Arizona in the NCAA tournament, the Wildcats were in control from the tip off forcing Wisconsin a first round exit from the 2006 tournament. This is also the second time Sean Miller and Bo Ryan have squared off in a coaching matchup in the tournament, as Miller's Xavier team got the best of Ryan's Wisconsin in the second round of the 2009 tournament. Ryan is 1-1 all time versus Miller.
In this Badger Nation feature, we will look at the three keys or questions for Wisconsin to have success against Arizona in their Elite Eight matchup.
Lay up: What kind of performance will Traevon Jackson give?
Jackson has been playing extremely well so far through three tournament games, averaging 13.6 points a game and is shooting 55 percent from the field. This is the way many Badgers fans expect him to play. Not only is Jackson shooting at a high rate but he's been able to rebound effectively, find his open teammates and avoid the lazy passes on offense.
When Jackson is performing on offense at a high rate and creating opportunities for himself and others, it has becomes difficult to slow the offense down. Arizona averages 6.2 steals per game and forced San Diego State into coughing the basketball up 10 times. As long as Jackson can make sure he sees where the pass is going, it won't allow the Wildcats to get out in transition to get some easy points.
Jackson may be able to get to the rim by using his size, drawing fouls or creating enough space to get off a mid-range shot. As long as Jackson can continue to help Wisconsin score in many different ways, it will force Arizona to pick how they want to slow down Wisconsin on offense.
Baylor's Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson entered the Sweet 16 matchup with Wisconsin both averaging 15 points a game in the tournament. While Jefferson finished with 15 points and Austin added 12, Kaminsky and Hayes couldn't have done a better job on defense.
Making life difficult for Baylor's frontcourt with Kaminsky recording a career-high six blocks in the game, Kaminsky and Hayes once again will be challenged by talented freshmen Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the paint. Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson both scored 15 points against San Diego State.
Like the game against Baylor, expect Wisconsin to feed the basketball down low to Kaminsky, who is averaging 16 points over his last five games, and expect him to attack Gordon. Although Gordon is only averaging 2.4 fouls a game, he has found himself in foul trouble over the last four games picking up four personal fouls each time.
If Kaminsky and Hayes can attack Gordon and get to the free throw line early and often, it will take away any low post threat by the Wildcats. If Wisconsin can get to the line, they need to be able to knock down free throws and not leave any points on the floor.
This is one matchup that a lot of people will be watching throughout the game between the Pac-12 Player of the Year and one of the top defenders in the Big Ten. It took Johnson awhile to get going on offense with San Diego State being able to cut off any driving lanes or by consistently getting a hand in his face. Johnson finished the game 2-for-12 from the field.
Even though Johnson struggled mightily from the field, he went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Gasser needs to be able to keep Johnson in front of him and avoid picking up any careless foul.
Johnson is shooting 43 percent from the field, but the one area where Gasser can try and slow him down is forcing him to shoot from the perimeter. Johnson is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter and it will hurt Arizona to get into an offensive rhythm if Gasser can force him to take uncomfortable shots.
While Gasser might struggle to be able to beat Johnson off the dribble, he'll have to try and do his damage on offense off of screens by knocking down an open three or getting behind Johnson for an easy lay ups. Gasser will need to be able to find a bounce-back game offensively after he failed to make a field goal against Baylor.