The Badgers' defensive secret
Wisconsin is second in 3-point percentage D, but that's not the stat that matters
It's no secret that a big factor in the Wisconsin Badgers' success this season has been their defense. The Badgers' offense has averaged a pedestrian 1.02 points per possession in Big Ten play -- ninth-best in the conference -- but Wisconsin has the third-best efficiency margin thanks to a defense that has limited Big Ten foes to 0.95 points per trip.
Wisconsin's offense is not potent enough to pull away from quality competition, but its defense has been good enough to keep the team in almost every game this season. Just four times has a Badgers opponent topped a point per possession, and no team has done better than the 1.08 PPP that Michigan scored on the Badgers on Jan. 8. Say what you want about Wisconsin's style, but its defense has been very effective even when you take into account that the Badgers play at the nation's slowest tempo.
A sizable component of their defensive success has come on the perimeter. Wisconsin has held opponents to 26.2 percent accuracy from beyond the arc, which is second-best nationally, and there is no doubt that has contributed to the overall statistical success of the defense. But the Badgers' defense is built for continued success not because of its 3-point percentage defense, but because the Badgers limit their opponents' 3-point attempts. This is because Wisconsin, or any other college basketball team, has surprisingly little control over their opponents' accuracy from long distance.
To read the full story from Ken Pomeroy, plus get all of ESPN Insider's college hoops content, become an Insider today.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- NCAA files intent to appeal O'Bannon decision
- UConn agrees to play Arizona, Ohio State
- Beavers' Baker in ICU; required defibrillator
- Lawsuit: Tulsa failed to protect woman from player
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.