The coaching mismatch in this game is almost laughable in that it puts one of the game’s best minds in Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan against one of the game’s worst minds in Baylor’s Scott Drew. The coaching advantage alone is worth two points, and my math model favors Wisconsin by five points so we are getting very good line value with the Badgers tonight. Coach Ryan is 205-107 SU versus teams with a winning record during his tenure at Wisconsin, including 115-53 SU versus teams with a win percentage between .600 and .800. In contrast, coach Drew is a money-burning 68-89 SU versus teams with a winning record, including 47-54 SU versus elite opponents with a win percentage between .600 and .800.
Wisconsin Offense vs. Baylor Defense:
Wisconsin is averaging 73.9 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 66.8 points per game, thereby making the Badgers 7.1 points per game better than average offensively. I also like the fact that the Badgers are 14-4 SU and 11-6 ATS on the road this season where they are averaging 72.8 points per game on 46.0% shooting from the field. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Wisconsin is averaging 77.2 points on 48.0% shooting from the floor and 41.6% from beyond the arc over its last five games.
Meanwhile, Baylor arrives in town with a defense that is yielding 67.8 points per game to teams that would combine to average 74.2 points per game. The concern for the Bears is their weak perimeter defense that is allowing opponents to shoot 38.1% from three-point territory, which is a terrible matchup against a prolific Wisconsin attack that is making 37.6% of its three-pointers this season (41.6% over L/5 games). Overall, Baylor is 6.4 points per game better than average defensively, which gives the Badgers a small 0.7 points per game advantage offensively in tonight’s game.
Wisconsin Defense vs. Baylor Offense:
Wisconsin investors will be smiling at this matchup as the Badgers are 7.4 points per game better than average defensively (64.0 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.4 points per game), while Baylor is 3.4 points per game better than average offensively (75.4 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 72.0 points per game). What makes this matchup even more significant is that Wisconsin’s defense is just as strong away from home where the Badgers are limiting opponents to a mere 64.1 points per game.
How capable is Wisconsin’s stop unit? Consider that the Badgers recently limited Michigan State to 58 points, Michigan to 62 points, Indiana to 58 points, Minnesota to 57 points and American to 35 points. Overall, Wisconsin possesses a 4.1 points per game advantage defensively over the Bears’ attack.
Oskeim Sports Power Ratings:
Wisconsin: 8th best team in the nation at 98.0 points
Baylor: 23rd best team in the nation at 94.6 points
Finally, the past thirteen NCAA Tournament Champions possessed each of the following qualities:
- A 1, 2 or 3 seed from a major conference;
- Averaged more than 73 points per game;
- Allowed less than 73 points per game;
- Owned an average scoring margin greater than 7.0 points per game;
- Faced a Top 75 schedule;
- Had a head coach with 6 or more NCAA tournament appearances with at least one Elite 8 performance;
- Were either in the NCAA tournament the previous year or have an All-American player.
Out of the remaining teams in this year’s NCAA tournament, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Michigan all possesses the above attributes. Lay the points with the Badgers and invest with confidence.