April 6, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Championship Game Preview: Duke Blue Devils vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Duke Blue Devils (34-4, 15-3 ACC) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (36-3, 16-2 BIG TEN)
Men’s National Championship Monday, April 6, in Lucas Oil Stadium at 9:18 pm ET on CBS
Duke Blue Devils
G – Freshman – Tyus JonesG – Senior – Quinn CookG – Sophomore – Matt JonesF – Freshman – Justise WinslowC – Freshman – Jahlil Okafor
G – Sophomore – Bronson KoenigG – Senior – Josh GasserF – Junior – Sam DekkerF – Sophomore – Nigel HayesC – Senior – Frank Kaminsky
Duke Blue Devils
3P% – 38.7%FT% – 69.6%FG% – 50.2%TPG – 11BPG – 4APG – 7RPG – 37Offense Ranked – 3Defense Ranked – 12
3P% – 36.5FT% – 76.6FG% – 48.1TPG – 7BPG – 3APG – 13RPG – 33Offense Ranked #1Defense Ranked #52
Analyzed Sports Keys to Victory: Duke Blue Devils
1. – Attack the Lane: Duke’s guards must attack the lane for easy baskets. Wisconsin has struggled all year with athletic guards getting into the lane against them. Duke is a great offensive team ranked 3rd in the Ken Pom rankings, so they need to make sure they use that strength to their advantage.
2. – Get Jahlil the Ball: In the match-up early in the season, Jahlil Okafor battled foul trouble in the first meeting, but still finished that game with 13 points 6 rebounds. Each time Okafor was able to post and get an opportunity around the rim, the Badgers had trouble guarding the Big Man in the post. Jahlil getting touches and staying out of foul trouble will be key for the Blue Devils to hoist the trophy Monday Night.
3. – Knock Down Open Shots – Expect Wisconsin to collapse in the lane to stop dribble penetration and to eliminate touches around the rim for Okafor. This will leave the perimeter game open for the Blue Devils. Duke is the better shooting team from beyond the arch, so it’s imperative that they knock down wide open shots when Wisconsin dares them to shoot the ball. Make 7 to 8 threes in this game and Duke will win by 10 or more if they rebound the ball as well.
4. – Rebound the Ball – Coach K, will be able to learn from what Kentucky could not do on the glass against Wisconsin and use it as a teaching tool for his team. The top reason Wisconsin is in this championship game is because they out rebounded the Wildcats on the boards. Duke can not let this happen or they too will lose this game. In the first meeting the Blue Devils got out rebounded by 2 and won by 10. Increase the margin of total rebounds and limit the offensive rebounds of the Badgers and they will win this game down the stretch.
5. – Defend the Swing Style Offense: Move feet on defense, talk and communicate, and do not switch everything in this game or you will be caught in some terrible mis-match situations. Just play solid man to man defense and help out your team mates when the defense is caught off-balance. Duke is the Better defending team ranked 12th in the country compared to the Badgers 52, so they should be able to contain the Badgers enough to pull out the W.
Analyzed Sports Keys to Victory: Wisconsin Badgers
1. – Rebounding is Key – All 5 positions must attack the glass on the offensive and defensive end. The Badgers dominated Kentucky on the boards in the Semi-Finals, and had 7 more offensive rebounds in the first game against Duke. Stay close or win the boards battle and Wisconsin will be your 2015 National Champion if they hold serve on their other strengths as a basketball team.
2. – Frank Kaminsky & Sam Dekker – Kaminsky and Dekker did not have the explosive games in the first meeting between the two teams. Frank finished with 17 points, and Dekker only chipped in 5 points. Both guys must have double digits in points to pull off this win.
3. – Defend the 3 – Duke shoots 38.7 percent from three as a team and they’re not afraid to let it fly if you dare them to shoot. They can hit challenged shots with a hand in the face and cause off-balance in their opponents defense when they’re knocking down shots. The Badgers must dig and rotate to the open man quick enough and hope the shots are not falling at a high percentage.
4. – Contain Justise Winslow – Key in the game is Duke’s swing man Winslow who will look to attack the lane at all cost when he has an opportunity. The Badgers must find out how to stop this or they could be in for a long night. Do a good job on Winslow will allow Badgers to pull out the W.
5. – Let Okafor get his – Wisconsin might want to let Okafor get his points, instead of getting off-balance by doubling down on him. Locked down the perimeter because three points is worth more than two, and do your best one on one with Jahlil Okafor by forcing him to take tough twos. Remember he only had 13 points in the first meeting and the Blue Devils won by 10. Focus more on the perimeter play of Duke and let Okafor go off is the key to winning this game tonight.
Prediction: This is basically a pick’em game as the point spread is even. Wisconsin will be looking to revenge an early season loss at home to the Blue Devils, while Coach K will go for his 5th National Championship with a roster of 8 McDonald’s All-Americans. Duke will play the same way as Kentucky did by attacking the rim, but they will let the 3’s fly more during the game when giving the opportunity. Wisconsin wants this game in the low 70’s. At the end of the day, Duke has too much talent, they’re the better defensive team, the better FG% & 3P% team, plus they have the Kentucky game to learn from and will eventually wear down the Badgers in the last 7 minutes of the game to pull out the 78- 71 victory.
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