Southeast Region: (13) Belmont Vs (4) Wisconsin

(13) Belmont Bruins AT (4) Wisconsin Badgers
Mar 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM EST McKale Center
Opening Line:  Wisconsin -6
Current Line:  Wisconsin -4.5
Opening Total: 127
Current Total: 125.5
Opening Moneyline:  Wis -200 / Bel +170
Current Moneyline:  Wis -200 / Bel +170

Jon Leuer and the Wisconsin Badgers take on the Belmont Bruins in the opening round of March Madness

Belmont took care of business in the Atlantic Sun Conference, winning the title game by 41 points over the University of North Florida.  They were not challenged by any Atlantic Sun conference opponents, winning all their games by an average of 21.3 points per game.

Wisconsin drew #1 ranked Ohio State in the opening round of the Big Ten championship and Ohio State disposed of the Badgers in decisive fashion, winning by 28 points.  The somewhat perplexing thing is that Wisconsin beat Ohio State by 4 points earlier in the month.

The absurd 36-33 loss to Penn State was the lowest scoring the lowest tournament total in Atlantic Sun Conference history.  WIsconsin’s tandem of Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor did almost all of the damage for the Badgers, as a third player didn’t score until 36 minutes into the game.

Some betting trends:

Wisconsin is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games and they are 19-6 SU in their last 25 games.  The total has gone OVER in 6 of Wisconsin’s last 8 games.

Belmont is 2nd best in the league in threes made with 9.4 a game.

Wisconsin is 2nd in the league in free throw percentage at 82.4%

Belmont’s Overall Scoring 80.35
Wisconsin’s Overall Defense 58.32

Belmont’s Away Scoring 76.33
WIsconsin’s Home Defense 56.05

Belmont’s Road Rebounds:  39.94
Wisconsin’s Home Rebounds: 26.79

Wisconsin’s Overall Scoring: 68.19
Belmont’s Overall Defense 61.94

Wisconsin’s Home Scoring 71.53
Belmont’s Road Defense 62.67

Wisconsin’s Home Rebounds:  31.84
Belmont’s Road Rebounds 33.50

Belmont is led by the trio of Ian Clark, Mick Hedgepath, and Scott Saunders.  The trio combine for 33 a game, which is 41.3% of Belmont’s offense.  Belmont’s team runs deep, as there are 11 players that all play 12 minutes or more a game.  Ian Clark’s 24 minutes a game are the most on Belmont, and he leads the way in scoring too with 12.4 a game.  He shoots 43.6% from three (72 of 165) and Belmont shoots 38.1% from three as a team.  An astounding 42% of all Belmont’s shots were threes.  Teams that live and die by the three can often make Cinderella runs, so Belmont is definitely worth keeping an eye on.  If they can get hot they can take care of Wisconsin in round 1 and continue their improbable run from there.

Wisconsin is led by the aforementioned duo of Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, who combine for 36.7 a game, 54% of Wisconsin’s total offense.  Factor in their 6.4 assists per game and they have a hand in 72% of Wisconsin’s baskets.  Taylor, a 6’1″ junior point guard, leads the team in minutes played with 36.2 minutes a game.  He’s second on the team in scoring with 18.1 points per game and he shoots 43.3% from three (65 of 150).  Leuer is a 6’10 senior power forward and he puts up a team leading 18.6 points per game and a team leading 7.3 rebounds per game.  In his 5 double doubles this year, Wisconsin is 5-0, so if they can get him going inside, they should manage to pull away with this game.

Belmont is not that much of an underdog given the seeding circumstances.  Their depth scares a lot of teams as playing 11 players enables them to keep all their key players rested for a stretch run, though it is often a different 5 finishing the game from night to night.

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