Wisconsin Badgers (1) vs Duke Blue Devils (1)
Monday – April 6 – 8:18 pm
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis
The University of Wisconsin Badgers (36-3) take on the Duke Blue Devils (34-3) Monday night for the 2015 Men’s National Championship.
The Badgers ended the University of Kentucky’s bid to continue their quest to join the ranks of college basketball teams to win a national title while going undefeated with their 71-64 win over the Wildcats.
The Blue Devils are seeking their second national title in five seasons following their 81-61 over No. 7 seed Michigan State. Expect Duke’s freshman trio of Tyus Jones (11. 0 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 4.0 assists per game, 2.0 steals per game, 39 field goal percentage and 88 free throw percentage), Jahlil Okafor (16.0 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, 2.0 blocks per game, 64 field goal percentage and 52 free throw percentage) and Justise Winslow (15.0 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, 54 field goal percentage and 81 free throw percentage) to once again be the offensive floor leaders as they were during the Michigan State game. Again, as before, senior Quinn Cook (15.0 points per game, 2.0 assists per game, 2.2 rebounds per game, 1.2 steals per game 46 field goal percentage and 89 free throw percentage) and junior forward Amile Jefferson (5.0 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 60 free throw percentage and 60 field goal percentage) leadership qualities are something I would keep an eye on for the team from Durham, North Carolina. Keep an eye on the foul situations of Okafor and Winslow, the two players who are likely to guard Frank Kaminsky.
The Badgers are seeking their first national championship since 1941, and if successful will be a 74-year span between titles.
My players to watch do not change from my previous Wisconsin preview. Frank Kaminsky, (22.2 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, 53 field goal percentage and 82 free throw percentage), who was voted the Naismith Player of the Year over the weekend, but is not the only scoring option for the team. Junior Sam Dekker (21 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 61 field goal percentage and 71 free throw percentage), sophomore forward Nigel Hayes (12.2 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game, 40 field goal percentage and 77 free throw percentage) and sophomore Bronson Koenig (9.4 points per game, 2.2 assists per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, 33 field goal percentage and 81 free throw percentage) and Josh Gasser (6.4 points per game, 2.0 assists per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 56 field goal percentage and 75 free throw percentage) is the Badgers’ most effective offensive lineup on the hardwood.
The game is too close to call. Like Vegas, I see it being a coin flip.