Hyderabad, India (PressExposure) March 19, 2011 -- In one of the last games of Saturday night March Madness Picks, the Kansas State Wildcats will try to figure out the tough defense for the Wisconsin Badgers in NCAA Tournament betting action.
The Wildcats were a trendy selection to be upset in the first main round of the dance, but they would have none of it against the Utah State Aggies on Thursday. The Aggies put on a great rally at the end of the game, but when push really came to shove, there just wasn't enough to be able to cap it off.
Ironically, Utah State shot the ball significantly better from the field than the Wildcats did, as the underdogs had almost a six percentage advantage in that department. Utah State also shot better from beyond the arc. The difference was in foul shooting, where KSU went 24-of-28. Four different players reached double digits in scoring, but none were as important as Jacob Pullen. Pullen shot 6-of-13 from the field and knocked down nine foul shots, accounting for a total of 22 points.
Curtis Kelly had 15 points and six boards, while Rodney McGruder had 10 points and six rebounds as well. The Cats really can't like the fact that Jamar Samuels struggled so much to get his shot going, and role players like this really can't struggle against the Badgers if they hope to advance.
You always know that you are going to get a great shot from the Badgers, especially when you're playing offense. Wisconsin might play the hardest nosed half court defense in the entire country, and when this unit locks itself into place, it is a tremendous one to try to figure out the code to.
The Belmont Bruins, who had one of the most efficient offenses in the country coming into March Madness Picks, only shot 36.7 percent from the field against the Badgers in Round 2. Wisconsin has a deceptively solid team offensively, and that is certainly contrary to popular belief after watching this team score just 33 points against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big Ten Tournament.
Jordan Taylor had a solid night, knocking down five shots from beyond the arc. He ended the day with 21 points. The big man in the middle, Jon Leuer came to play as well. He put up 22 points on the evening, and he had seven rebounds in a strong game on the inside. Sure, there weren't any other double digit point scorers on the night, but when you play this well defensively, you don't need a heck of a lot of help.
Wisconsin really is the stronger team, and the only thing that can really hurt it in this one is the play of Pullen. However, if the defense can lock him down, the Badgers should be on their way to the Sweet 16.
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NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Wisconsin Badgers