2. Wisconsin Badgers (26-7, 13-7 Big Ten)-The Badgers started the season 16-0, and won games against Florida, Saint Louis and at Virginia. A mid-season swoon saw them lose five of six and fall under .500 in the Big Ten, but Bo Ryan and company righted the ship quickly. As usual, this team wins with defense, smart, deliberate offense and three-point shooting.
Senior point guard Ben Brust (12.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is one of the more underrated guards in the country. He is a smart, tough kid who plays defense and shoots the three at 37 percent. 6-7 forward Sam Dekker (12.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is also a capable three-point shooter and scores at a 47% clip.
Guard Josh Gasser (9.2 ppg) is another threat for Wisconsin on offense. If it comes down to the last shot, you could do much worse than to have Traevon Jackson (10.4 ppg, 38% 3-point FG) taking it. Jackson is the son of former NBA star Jim Jackson. He’s hit clutch shots to seal games multiple times this season.
15. American (20-12, 13-5 Patriot)-The Eagles completed one of the nation’s most impressive turnarounds in 2014, going from 10-20 to Patriot League champs. American is one of the nation’s stingier defensive teams, ranking sixth in points allowed per game (58.6) and 22nd in points allowed per possession (0.94). Four scorers average in double figures for the Eagles, led by 6-5 sophomore guard Jesse Reed (13.9 ppg).
They’ve got some ridiculous names, but 6-10 senior Tony Wroblicky and 6-5 guard John Schoof can ball as well. Wroblicky (12.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) shoots his free throws one-handed, and that pretty much tells you all you need to know about him. He shoots 71 percent from the line. Not many low-seeded teams have big men with his size and skill level, so
American has some downright awful losses this season, having fallen to Mount St. Mary’s, Brown, George Mason, Lafayette, Loyola (MD) and Columbia.
9th Field Goal Percentage (.493)
340th Rebounds per Game (30.0)
6th Points Allowed per Game (58.6)
22nd Points Allowed per Possession (0.94)