2015 March Madness National Championship Game Picks

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On Monday, Wisconsin can look to end a extended title drought, they as they haven’t been back to the National Championship Game since 1941. As for Duke, it’s staring at a grand opportunity to obtain the program’s fifth crown overall. Which team will end up cutting the nets in Indianapolis?

Words up to, including and beyond "they got this."

Words up to, including and beyond “they got this.”

It took an entire year, but the long wait made only the Badgers’71-64 revenge win over Kentucky on Saturday much sweeter. Wisconsin, which lost to the Wildcats in the national semifinal last year, has become 3-0 in its last three games.
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While Duke features a three-guard combo in Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, and Matt Jones, Wisconsin features a three-forward setup in Kaminsky, Hayes, and Dekker. Bo Ryan’s insistence on having this kind of system has created mismatches that allowed Wisconsin to obtain different looks at the basket. As a result, Wisconsin could develop an offense that’s currently ranked first in efficiency by KenPom.

After passing the test presented by Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns in the national semifinal, Kaminsky will now turn his attention to make Duke’s Okafor uncomfortable on defense.  Kaminsky is just a deft post operator, but he also has  the range to distance themself Okafor from the shaded area. Kaminsky is 6-of-11 from beyond the arc thus far in this tournament.

Dekker, on the other hand, has the size and range which should give the Blue Devils additional matchup problems. Dekker, who’s averaging 13.9 points per game this year, has been unstoppable that the start of the tournament. Dekker has averaged 20.6 points over Wisconsin’s last five games.

Dating back again to 2000, Wisconsin is 3-5 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight March Madness games against No. 1 seeds.

Mike Krzyzewski has four national titles under his belt. He is able to add more to his impressive collection if they can steer Duke past Wisconsin this coming Monday. Since late February, Duke is 9-1 SU and ATS over its last 10 games.

Duke booked its ticket to the national championship game because of a commanding 81-61 win over Michigan State on Saturday. For the reason that game, Jahlil Okafor broke out of his two-game slump and scored 18 points to go along with his six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Prior to the Michigan State game, Okafor scored just nine and six points against Gonzaga, and Utah, respectively.  Michigan State, however, does not need a great interior defender to contain Okafor. Wisconsin has.

Knowing this, other Duke players like Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, and Quinn Cook must bring their A games to help keep Wisconsin’s defense from ganging on Okafor.

Winslow, who scored a game-high 19 points contrary to the Spartans, is arguably the most effective Blue Devil in this tournament. He’s averaging 15 points—while also guarding the opposing teams’best perimeter players—over the past five Duke games. Jones and Cook, meanwhile, form Duke’s deadly starting backcourt that averages 27.1 points per game. Both players are terrific outside shooters, combining for near four threes a casino game on the season. Expect the duo to make the most of Wisconsin’s susceptible perimeter defense which allows opposing teams to make 37.4% of their three-point attempts.

Duke’s offense is currently ranked third in efficiency (121.7 points per 100 possessions) by KenPom, but its defense recently deserves some attention, too. Duke is surrendering 64.2 points per game this year, but has limited its past five opponents down seriously to just 55 a game. Duke’s improved defense largely explains why the under is 8-2 in its last 10 games overall. National Championship Game Picks Wisconsin wins and covers the spread.

 

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