Anaheim, CA (WQOW) -- The NCAA Tournament dance continues and Wisconsin has a new partner. Thursday, the Badgers will battle Baylor in the Sweet 16.
The game plan is pretty simple: exploit the Bears' 1-3-1 defense by hitting open threes. But that's easier said than done. Baylor held Creighton to just 55 points on Sunday and has some serious height to contend with. Wisconsin says the keys will be passing and patience.
"When you look at the other side and see a 7-foot guy and a 6-9 who are long and athletic, it's obviously going to be a challenge for all of us. But hopefully we'll be able to find some things that we can do to neutralize that," says junior center Frank Kaminsky.
Senior guard Ben Brust adds: "I think in order to get some good looks from the outside you have to work it inside. We have some guys who can do some damage down there in Frank (Kaminsky), Nigel (Hayes) and Sam (Dekker). When they're rotating with each other and playing around with each other, they do a good job of creating things for guys on the outside. So, get them involved and we'll be good."
Wisconsin has earned its place among the final 16 teams alive in the tournament and that distinction comes with some added media attention. But anyone who thinks the Badgers will be tight on Thursday simply needs to stop by the Wisconsin locker room.
"We're loose, we're confident," says junior guard Josh Gasser. "We're just trying to do what we've done all year long. You can't make a game bigger than it is. Ultimately if it's a 40 minute game, it all takes place between the lines. And even though there is a lot of attention to Sweet 16 games, it's all going to come down to the court. So we're going to approach it like we always have, prepare the same way, and hopefully come out on top."
"I made a joke to coach Ryan. Asked him if I could go and got a laugh, which is rare at this time of year. The guys said last year he was always serious. So I just try to keep the mood loose. If the team is happier, if the team is loose, I feel like we'll go out there and play better," says freshman forward Nigel Hayes.
The Badgers and Bears battle Thursday at 6:47 p.m. in Anaheim, California.
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