Wisconsin Badgers vs. Colgate Raiders 2022 NCAA Tournament Game Preview
- Wisconsin Badgers Spread: -9
- Colgate Raiders Spread: +9
- Wisconsin Badgers Moneyline: -380
- Colgate Raiders Moneyline: +295
- Game Over/Under: 139.5
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Colgate Raiders Match Up Overview
Stats via KenPom.
Wisconsin Badgers Preview
I don’t want to say the Badgers have been lucky this season, but boy oh boy has their season been magical. Time and time again they have pulled off close victories. Their last five games were all decided by six or fewer points.
Johnny Davis has led this team all season. His ability to do it all gives opponents headaches and creates space for Tyler Wahl and Brad Davidson to do their thing. Point guard Chucky Hepburn has developed nicely, and all of those close games should help this Badger team tremendously in March.
Greg Gard’s squad isn’t the most efficient team, but they take care of the ball well, finding open looks nearly every possession. While their defense isn’t exactly top-tier, the Badgers won’t give teams many second chances, making it tough for any team to beat them on an off day.
While Wisconsin tied for Big Ten title and finished the regular season with a 24-6 record and the 18th-ranked strength of schedule, their analytics don’t align with their performance. All of these close games suggest that they are due for a potential heartbreaking early loss. We will see if this Wisconsin magic can continue and how far Davis can take this team.
Colgate Raiders Preview
Colgate is back in the tournament for a third straight year. Head coach Matt Langel has done a solid job, as Colgate ranks as one of the best teams in the nation in terms of shot quality. The Patriots might not be the most athletic team in the nation, but they do one thing very well: shoot the three ball.
Colgate ranks second in the nation in three-point percentage 40.1%. Nearly 39% of their points come from beyond the arc, 21st highest in the nation. They are a consistent team with tournament experience, and they are capable of surprising a high-seeded team. Since Jan. 10, Colgate has only lost one game, and they beat Syracuse earlier this year. A lot of their losses came during a long stretch of away games when they were missing their star, Nelly Cummings.
Colgate basically takes no shots from midrange. They either are taking a deep look or finding a way to get to the rim. While the Raiders are good at what they do, their approach won’t surprise many teams. From a betting angle, I like Colgate first-half spread bets, as they led Arkansas after the first half. If they open against a team that focuses on interior defense, Colgate might be able to get open look after open look, forcing their opponent to adjust after the first half.
Beating Colgate involves beating them in transition, forcing them inside, and capitalizing on the glass. Colgate isn’t exactly a scary team, but they’re capable of a bracket-busting upset, given their prolific shooting.
Rapid Prediction for Wisconsin Badgers vs. Colgate Raiders
Are the Wisconsin Badgers lucky, good, or both? I think the answer is somewhere in between. Wisconsin ranks inside the top 50 in both offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency, but they have also benefitted from good fortune in close games, going 15-3 in such contests. The Badgers could have their hands full with Colgate, however. The Raiders are an elite shooting team and rank second in the country in three-point percentage. They aren’t particularly strong defensively, but they clean up the defensive glass and defend without fouling. This game will practically be a Wisconsin home game, as it will be played in Milwaukee. But this won’t be a cakewalk for Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Colgate Raiders Round 1 Game Pick