By Genaro Armas
The Associated PRess
Up-tempo Oregon against efficient Wisconsin should make for an intriguing NCAA tournament matchup today in Milwaukee.
The seventh-seeded Ducks and second-seeded Badgers each pulled away for double-digit victories Thursday to advance to a West Region third-round game. Their Saturday night meeting figures to be much closer.
“We have to face a team that gets it up and down. They can score in half court, they can score in full court,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said Friday. “They put a lot of pressure on you.”
First, the Badgers thumped methodical American and its Princeton-style offense 75-35 on Thursday. Now they’re preparing for something completely different. Oregon likes to play in transition, and eight Ducks were on the floor for at least 11 minutes in the victory over BYU.
“Has anybody ever faced two more opposite teams in back-to-back games in the NCAA tournament?” Ryan asked reporters.
The tempo issue goes both ways. After contending with BYU’s zone, Oregon now must face a Badgers team that just held American to 34 percent shooting and 13 second-half points.
“Bo has always grinded it out, pick the heck out of you,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “It’s a physical game.”
Loyd said he will try to speed up the Badgers and defend point guard Traevon Jackson the length of the court, “make him show his handles off and then try to speed them as much as we can.”
Staying disciplined helped Wisconsin get over a first-half rut against American. They’re sticking to that plan on Saturday.
The balanced Badgers have shown they can score in transition, too, though that’s not their main philosophy.
“What we want to do is get a good shot. ... Sometimes it may happen early and sometimes it doesn’t,” Close said.
Oregon “preys on teams when (the opponent takes) bad shots early, then they can really run.”