Wisconsin Badgers Odds to Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament with Picks and Predictions
by George Monroy - 3/19/2014
The Wisconsin Badgers surprisingly earned a No. 2 seed in the West region after ending the regular season with a loss to Nebraska and then losing in the Big Ten tourney semi-finals against Michigan State. Wisconsin ended the year with a No. 12 ranking in the AP Top 25, yet it had not done enough in the eyes of the selection committee to leapfrog a few teams into a premium position in the tournament.
The Badgers will have a tough road navigating the West region of the tournament and should face a quality opponent each step of the way after the second round. The squad plays its first matchup against American University on Thursday, March 20, and has been installed as a double-digit favorite by the oddsmakers. Let's take a closer look at Wisconsin's 2014 NCAA tournament odds with picks, analysis and predictions.
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Wisconsin 2014 NCAA Tournament Story Lines
If Wisconsin can get by its first matchup then the team will face the winner of Oregon versus BYU, and then it will potentially have to play Creighton or Baylor before challenging the No. 1 seed Arizona Wildcats or even a very good San Diego State squad in the regional final. The team is coming off a seven-point loss to Michigan State on Saturday in which it gave up a 17-point first-half lead and was never able to get back into the matchup.
Wisconsin went 22-of-50 from the field and was out-rebounded during a high-tempo game that saw both teams attempt a combined 59 free-throw attempts. The team received a solid performance from its leading scorer, Frank Kaminsky, who had 28 points, two rebounds and an assist in 30 minutes of action.
The Badgers have been a solid defensive squad this season, but they allowed Michigan State to take 51 shot attempts and seemed to abandon their game plan in favor of engaging in a shootout with a talented Spartans squad. Coach Bo Ryan said after the game that "ball movement" and "shot selection" were the main culprits behind the team's upset loss.
Wisconsin Badgers 2014 NCAA Tournament Odds and Key Trends
Wisconsin is currently receiving +2200 2014 NCAA title odds, according to Sportsbook.ag, and is a 14-point favorite during its first matchup of the tournament against American University. Wisconsin ended the regular season with a 17-16 ATS record and an 18-14 totals record. The team has a 4-6 ATS record over its last 10 matchups and a 2-2 record in its last four games as a six-point-or-more favorite.
The Badgers allowed the 48th-fewest points in the nation at 64.6 per game and the 72nd-fewest rebounds at 29.2 per game. On offense the team was ranked in the Top 100 in points, rebounds, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage per game. Wisconsin also has four double-digit scorers on its roster.
Wisconsin Badgers 2014 NCAA Tournament Picks and Predictions
Wisconsin has a tough road out of the West region and may be overrated at the No. 2 seed. The squad has struggled over its last three games and has not looked like the potential-No.1 seed that it was only a few short weeks ago. The Badgers are showing an attractive price at +2200, but they will probably be one of the first top seeds to be eliminated from the tournament.
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