Ryan Knuppel  |  Thu 21st Mar   | NCAAB

NCAA Tournament 1st Round Betting Preview – South Region:

Oregon Ducks (12)
vs.
Wisconsin Badgers (5)

The 12 seed vs. the 5 seed is always an interesting matchup, and this year we have a high-major school as a 12 seed which is a bit unusual. These teams have two different stories this season as Wisconsin has been healthy and Oregon has changed their identity after freshman Bol Bol was lost for the season after starting with averages of 21 ppg and 9.6 rpg. Wisconsin is currently a -2 point favorite in this Friday action in San Jose, California.

Check out all of our March Madness previews & picks here.

oregon ducks teamOregon Ducks Preview

The Ducks were projected to win the Pac-12, but ended up having to fight through some adversity and finished the season at fourth-place in the Pac-12 regular season standings. Oregon comes into the tournament on an 8-game win streak, however, and they are red hot. The Ducks are grateful to be playing a Friday game as they had to play four games in four days in their conference tourney. Oregon is a deep and dangerous team with a lot of skilled play-makers.

Oregon will need guys like Louis King (12.7 ppg), Payton Pritchard (12.7 ppg) and Paul White (10.6 ppg) to continue to play well and step up to pull off this upset of the Badgers. Pritchard was named MVP of the Pac-12 conference tournament where they played magnificently and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This team is incredibly athletic, long, and can block shots if you can get past their suffocating press and trapping. In their 8-game win streak, they only have allowed one team to score more than 61 points.

wisconsin badges teamWisconsin Badgers Preview

The Badgers missed the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time in two decades, but they are dancing once again. It made it feel special again for Wisconsin to hear their name being called on Selection Sunday, as it was almost taking for granted with the success this program had. Wisconsin has been a picture of stability this season, unlike Oregon, with them starting the same lineup in all but one game of the season.

Ethan Happ has been the main pillar of stability for the Badgers over the past three seasons. He is averaging 17.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game while not missing one of the 138 games in his career at Wisconsin. Outside of his awards and success, they will need D’Mitrik Trice and Brad Davison to help with scoring the ball as they both average double-digit points per game.

Oregon vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick

march-madness-oregon-ducks-wisconsin-badgers

The Ducks are surging, and this makes for an exciting 5 vs. 12 matchup. The line not always this close for this type of matchup, but Oregon has earned that respect by playing so well down the stretch. This game is expected to be a slow, methodical contest and will remain close throughout the whole matchup. The Badgers should be able to finish this game and end the streak of the Ducks as this team has the experience and chemistry to make it happen.

The pick for this NCAA Tournament game is Wisconsin as the -2 point favorite.

Check out all of our March Madness previews & picks here.

Ryan Knuppel