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Mississippi Rebels vs. Wisconsin Badgers NCAA Basketball Preview & Free Pick

Midwest Region: Rebels vs Badgers

The #12 seed upset over the fifth seed is one of those things you can count on every year. There will almost definitely be one again this year, but could it be the Mississippi Rebels against the Wisconsin Badgers?

2013 NCAA Tournament Preview – WEST Bracket
West Region
#12- Mississippi Rebels (26-8) vs. #5- Wisconsin Badgers (23-11)
Date/Time: March 22, 2013- 12:40 pm EST
TV: truTV
NCAA Basketball Betting Odds from BetDSI
Favorite: Wisconsin -6
Total: 129.5

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Mississippi is actually the single biggest underdog of any of the #12 seeds. Let’s take a closer look at this West Region game.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Rebels started the year red hot, then they cooled off and looked like they might miss the NCAA Tournament altogether. A terrific finish to the season which concluded in a win over Florida in the SEC Tournament finale propelled this team to the finish with some great momentum. Marshall Henderson gets the most publicity from this team because of his scoring and his crazy antics.

Henderson averages 20.1 points per game, but he only shoots 38.5 percent from the floor.

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He needs to improve his shot selection if the Rebels are going to win this one.

Murphy Holloway averages 14.6 points and 9.6 boards per game, and I believe he is the Rebels best all-around player. Holloway needs to assert himself early in this matchup. Mississippi averaged 78 points per game, and they want to find a way to get up and down in this contest. It was Holloway that led this team to victory against Florida.

The Rebels defense is mediocre, and their defensive rebounding has been a problem down the stretch.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Badgers play a completely different brand of basketball than just about anyone in the NCAA Tournament this year. Wisconsin uses up the shot clock on almost every possession and is great at taking care of the basketball on the offensive end. How good are they are holding on to the ball? [ad-6571516]

Wisconsin averages just 9.7 turnovers per game, which is fourth best in the nation. Wisconsin isn’t quite as efficient on the offensive end this year as they have been in the past, but they still lock teams down on the defensive end.

The Badgers hold opponents to just 55.9 points per game. Opponents shoot only 29.2 percent from three-point range.

Ben Brust and Sam Dekker are the Badgers best outside shooters, and both of them are capable of getting very hot from long range. Jared Berggren has a great assortment of low post moves, and he can step out and knock down the jump shot as well. Ryan Evans horrific shooting slump has held the team back a bit this year. Evans is shooting only 42.8 percent from the free throw line after shooting 73 percent last year.

Because of his shooting problems, Evans has been a little less aggressive offensively of late.

Free Pick: Wisconsin -6

Mississippi played in a very weak SEC, while Wisconsin has been tested game in and game out in the Big Ten. I like the defense of the Badgers to win this one comfortably.

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