Wisconsin-Florida State: First to 60 Points Wins

Kevin HagstromContributor IMarch 20, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 13:  Head coach Bo Ryan of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

If you’re looking to witness another trendy 12-5 upset in the NCAA Tournament this year, don’t look the way of Wisconsin.

That’s what history tells us, anyway. Other factors may prove this matchup to be the exception to Father Time.

Since Bo Ryan stepped in as head coach prior to the 2001-02 season, the Badgers (19-12) have never defeated a team seeded higher than ninth (UW defeated St. John's 80-70 in the first round of the 2002 tournament).

Wisconsin also tends to struggle most against athletic teams led by strong guard play.

Enter No. 5 Florida State and their best player, senior guard Toney Douglas, who paces the team with per game averages of 21.3 points and 1.85 steals.  

Without a shutdown defender to keep pace with smaller players (Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry can handle talented forwards and centers), Douglas should pose a serious threat to the Badgers.

Florida State (25-9) also plays solid defense, limiting opponents to 38.6 percent shooting, blocking shots, and forcing turnovers (15.4 per game). Not good for a Badgers offense that struggles enough without having pressuring defense and long arms in the passing and shooting lanes to contend with.

It’s scary to imagine what the result will look like.

Wait. There’s a catch. (If life has taught you anything, there’s always a catch.)

Unlike many of the higher-seeded teams Wisconsin has faced in the past, the Seminoles are incredibly careless.

Nearly 23 percent of their possessions result in a turnover, offsetting the job they do on the defensive end and killing the flow of their offense. Don’t forget Wisconsin plays a pretty mean defense, too.

It’s a mixed bag.

If anything is certain, it’s this: The game should be more visually ugly than it is aesthetically pleasing, and the first to 60 wins.  


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