2011 NCAA Tournament: 5-Seed Kansas State vs 4-Seed Wisconsin

In 2008 the Wisconsin Badgers ended Jacob Pullen's freshman season when they defeated the Michael Beasley and Bill Walker led Kansas State Wildcats in the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.

Obviously since that game the roster for Kansas State has completely changed with the exception of Pullen as he is the only Wildcat on the 2011 squad who played in that 2008 game.

Now the Badgers try to end Pullen's senior season and thus his career when the two teams once again hook up in the round of 32 tonight in Tucson.

Wisconsin came into the NCAA Tournament looking very beatable as they had been blown out by Ohio State and then they lost a barnburner to Penn State by a final score of 36-33 in the Big 10 tournament.

Apparently they were just waiting for the NCAA Tournament because on Thursday the Badgers put on a shooting clinic against Belmont as they rained in 12 three pointers and won 72-58.

Bo Ryan and Wisconsin will try to do what they always do which is play strong fundamental defense and not turn the ball over on offense while working for a good shot. It may not sound exciting but it has been very effective over the years.

 

The Badgers are led by Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer at 18.2 ppg and 18.7 ppg respectively. Taylor is a dynamic point guard who will most likely be matched up against Jacob Pullen for K-State which will create an almost game within the game scenario to be watching.

Leuer is listed at 6'10" but he does not play only in the post as one would expect. On the season he has attempted 138 three pointers so it will be important for Jamar Samuels or whomever is assigned to him to pressure him on the perimeter.

 Kansas State will need to play solid defense throughout and hope their pressure forces Wisconsin to miss some three point attempts as the Badgers at times live and die behind the three point arc.

The Wildcats should have a slight edge in athleticism in this game so it will be interesting to see if they can rebound and get out on the break.

You would expect Jacob Pullen to be closer to 100% than he was in the first round game against Utah State which should help improve K-State's chances.

Curtis Kelly came up big in last years tournament and also in the game against the Aggies and the Wildcats need him to stay out of foul trouble tonight and add some scoring in the post.

If K-State can play strong perimeter defense without fouling while not going into lapses like they did against Utah State then the Wildcats have a strong chance to win.  

Wisconsin is a slight favorite in this game by Vegas ranging anywhere from a 1 point to 3.5 point favorite.

 Tip Time is set for 7:40 central time and the game can be seen on TNT.

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