The Wisconsin Badgers (25-9, 12-6 Big Ten) are in the NCAA Tournament for the 19th straight season. Here is everything you need to know headed into their first round matchup.
Who they play
Opponent: Virginia Tech Hokies
Conference: ACC (finished seventh)
Record: (22-10, 10-8 ACC)
Head coach: Buzz Williams
Leading scorer: Zach LeDay (16.3 points)
RPI rank: 47
KenPom rank: 44
Record against common opponents with UW: 3-1 (wins – Nebraska, Michigan, Syracuse; losses – North Carolina)
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Arena: KeyBank Center (home of the Buffalo Sabres)
Time: 8:40 p.m.
Live stream: NCAA.com
Moving on: winner plays the winner of (1) Villanova and (16) Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday
Numbers to know
The Badgers have made it to three consecutive Sweet 16’s, the only team in the country to reach that mark. Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, and Ethan Happ all return from last year’s squad.
The Hokies are tied for 12th in the nation in field goal percentage, including 40 percent from behind the three-point line.
Virginia Tech has five players averaging double-digit points per game, with a sixth player (Justin Bibbs) putting up 9.2 points per contest. The Hokies are led by the 6’7 LeDay, who has dropped nearly 26 points per game over the past three entering the tournament. Guard Seth Allen is the second-leading scorer on the squad (13.4 points), and hits over 45 percent of his treys.
The difference in offensive ranking between VaTech and Wisconsin. The Hokies have posted nearly 80 points per game, which ranks 46th in the nation, while Wisconsin has struggled to put the ball in the basket, ranking just 193rd nationally. Can the Badgers score enough to hang with Virginia Tech’s potent shooting?
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