Leading up to the NCAA Tournament, I’ll be providing season recaps for several teams for CBS Local: key wins, great individual performances, and more. Next up: the Wisconsin Badgers.
Just named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year, Ethan Happ would not have won the award if he didn’t sit out last season and take his lumps in practice from National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky. Read my Rising Star feature on the Wisconsin forward on CBS Local.
Just as I’ve done the past two years, I shadowed a player at the NBA draft. This time it was Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker, who was drafted in the first round by the Houston Rockets. Part profile, part draft day diary, my story appears on the Wisconsin alumni website. There will also be a shorter version that appears in the school’s alumni magazine.
Duke freshmen accounted for 60 points last night, a record for a national championship game. Tyus Jones hit huge shots down the stretch and was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Jahlil Okafor was slowed by foul trouble but scored a couple of critical baskets late. And Grayson Allen came off the bench and provided a tremendous offensive boost. The result was a 68-63 win over Wisconsin. Read more about it in my recap for CBS Local.
As much as I was looking forward to a Kentucky-Duke final, Wisconsin absolutely deserves its spot in tonight’s national championship. The Badgers have one of the best offenses of all time and proved it against Kentucky’s historically dominant defense. In Saturday’s other game, Michigan State cooled down after a hot start and couldn’t stop Duke. I recapped the action in my Five Things column for CBS Local.
The Final Four is set: undefeated Kentucky takes on another No. 1 seed, Wisconsin, and Duke plays the surprise team in Indianapolis, Michigan State. To learn more about the keys to each team winning this past weekend, check out my latest for CBS Local.
Two ESPN college basketball experts join the podcast. Mark Adams, who provides color commentary for the biggest midmajor games across the country, talks about Wichita State and other small conference programs to watch as the NCAA Tournament approaches. Writer John Gasaway, whose appearance starts at the 11:45 mark, talks about the analytics revolution in college hoops and what stats matter most when assessing the top teams.