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March Madness

Preview: 1 Wisconsin vs. 16 Coastal Carolina

Basketball Insiders Previews: 1 Wisconsin vs. 16 Coastal Carolina

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#1 – Wisconsin

Last year, Frank Kaminsky had his coming out party in March. This season he’s proven that he is in fact one of the best big men in college basketball, not just a flash in the pan. He’s put up 18.4 points a game while shooting 56 percent from the field and 41 percent from deep. He’s also averaging 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He’s the catalyst behind one of the more potent Badgers’ offenses, which is scoring 71.7 a night, we’ve ever seen. Kaminsky is the pillar that the Badgers will rely heavily on, but the true X-Factor may be Sam Dekker. Dekker, a projected first-round pick, has put forth a strong junior campaign with 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, but was not at his best at this time last year. Dekker has to be assertive and play like he’s one of the most talented players on the floor, because he often is, not let his aggressiveness drift and concede to his teammates. Defensively, the Badgers are your typical Bo Ryan-coached team: fierce and relentless. They allow just 55 points a night while limiting their opponents to 41 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from distance. Despite the intensity and incredible effort they utilize defensively, they actually foul less than any team in the country. They also take care of the basketball at an unmatched rate, turning it over just 7.6 times on average. As a team that does not hurt themselves, beating the Badgers requires an elite offense and the ability to defend both Kaminsky and Dekker one-on-one.

– Yannis Koutroupis

#16 – Coastal Carolina

What exactly is a Chantacleer? While that will be a great Jeopardy question for eternity, right now it is the nickname of one of the few smaller conference teams to make back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.    Last year, veteran coach Cliff Ellis (Auburn, Clemson and South Alabama) scared #1 Virginia in a 59-70 contest.  This year, a combination of forcing turnovers and beating teams up on the glass (6th best offensive rebounding and 13th best defensive rebounding) has the Myrtle Beach based campus dancing.  All five starters are nearly in double digits in scoring.  The versatility of senior guard Warren Gillis (13.1 PPG) and junior forward Badou Diange (9.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG) will not be done justice on the scouting reports.  Winning nine of their last 11 as well as the Big South Tournament, Cliff Ellis has his team ready to finish the job.  Ellis has advanced in 13 of his 23 postseasons, which is something no young coach wants to see in round one.  Having no top 25 wins or quality win is out the window next Thursday or Friday. (Shout out to one of Coastal Carolina’s trainers Barry Lippman).

– Dan Barto

Who Wins?

Yannis Koutroupis: Wisconsin wins

Cody Toppert: Wisconsin wins

Dan Barto: Wisconsin wins

Dan Barto has been with the IMG Academy basketball program since 2003. Prior to becoming the Head Skills Trainer, Barto was the IMG Academy basketball program’s Developmental Head Coach. Dan has trained over 100 current or former NBA players and coached over 40 Division I players. You can follow IMG on Twitter @IMGAcademy or on Facebook here.

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