So I'm in midst of a year of semi-Southern exile/sabbatical, and thus missed out on witnessing actual, video evidence of the vast majority of Wisconsin's rubbing-one's-rabbit's-foot victory over Wofford in the first round of the NCAAs today. But I saw the last three minutes. And I've looked over the box score. And thus I can provide some analysis:
(1) Wisconsin continued (continuing from the Illinois Big Ten tourney debacle) to shoot poorly. This was in all phases of shooting-- from the floor, from the line, from the three-point line especially, where they were 1 of 8.
(2) Wisconsin did not do their usual yeoman's work on the offensive glass. Wofford is an average offensive rebounding team. UW is a superlative defensive rebounding team. Given these facts, UW let Wofford grab way too many offensive boards. I'm guessing these led to several easy put-backs for the Terriers.
(3) Thank goodness for Wofford's late carelessness with the ball and its lousy 2nd half free throw shooting. Otherwise, UW is going home early.
(4) Also, thank goodness for UW's carefulness with the ball. The Badgers coughed the ball up only 4 times. A few more traveling calls, or loose passes, and the season would have been over.
Looking forward, Cornell is a far superior offensive team to Wofford. And goodness knows, after dismantling Temple and enjoying a well-earned and gleeful shower and fresh change of clothes, the Big Red (but with a bear as a mascot-- like the Alabama Crimson Tide with an elephant mascot) were sitting in the stands watching this game snorting at the general ineptitude of the two teams. But Cornell is also, at least statistically, a worse defensive team than Wofford. (Although they certainly didn't look like a mediocre defensive squad today. They flustered Temple all game long. ) Needless to say, UW will have to keep on doing the good things it did today (taking care of the ball) and cease and desist doing the bad (missing shots, giving up too many offensive boards) in order to get past the hot-shooting denizens of Ithaca. But the Badgers live to fight another day. Phew.