SPORTS

Wisconsin, Vanderbilt Square Off In NCAA Tournament Third Round

03/17/2012 07:57 am ET

Montana, a trendy upset pick? Apparently, no one consulted Wisconsin. Although they are known for their defense, the Badgers put on a shooting clinic as they crushed the Grizzlies 73-49, nailing 10 3-pointers and making 17 of 19 free throws. Wisconsin improved to 10-1 in NCAA Tournament openers under coach Bo Ryan.

But now they must play a Vanderbilt team buoyed by upperclassmen and great guard-play. The Commodores, led by sharpshooter John Jenkins, finally won a tourney opener of their own after getting upset early in their last three appearances (as the favorite). Jenkins scored 27, helping Vanderbilt build an 18-point lead over Harvard at one point and eventually won 79-70.

Will Wisconsin's defense be able to stop Vanderbilt's seniors? Or Will Vandy continue its sensational run -- that began in the SEC Tournament -- into the Sweet 16?

NO. 4 WISCONSIN

Overall Record: 24-9
Conference Record: 12-6
PPG: 63.9 pts
Points Allowed: 52.9
AP Ranking: 14
RPI: 20
KenPom Ranking: 6
Standout Player: Jordan Taylor
Season In Review: The Badgers didn't have many quality out-of-conference wins, losing to both UNC and Marquette. They also started Big Ten play going 1-3. But Wisconsin was able to have a good second half and won 24 games en route to a No. 4 seed.
Tournament Experience: 23-16, 17 appearances, 2 Final Fours, 1 National Championships

NO. 5 VANDERBILT

Overall Record: 24-10
Conference Record: 10-6
PPG: 73
Points Allowed: 65.0
AP Ranking: none
RPI: 29
KenPom Ranking: 16
Standout Player: John Jenkins
Season In Review: Vanderbilt disappointed early with losses to Cleveland State and Indiana State. But the Commodores were able to rally with 10 conference wins and an incredible run to win the SEC Tournament.
Tournament Experience: 9-13, 12 appearances

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