A quick take on the first half of Syracuse’s Sweet 16 matchup against Wisconsin:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange went on an 11-0 run toward the end of the first half, holding the Badgers scoreless for more than five minutes as they turned a 23-22 deficit into a 33-23 lead. CJ Fair and Dion Waiters each hit a pair of jumpers during the run and Scoop Jardine capped it with a 3-pointer. The run started shortly after Jared Berggren picked up his second foul of the half. To that point, Berggren had torched the Orange for 10 points, including a pair of 3s from the top of the key.
HALFTIME HEROES: CJ Fair, after going 2 for 17 in the first two rounds, was 3-for-4 in the first half for six points. Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters had nine each.
KEY STATS: Wisconsin, which hit 10 3-pointers in each of its first two NCAA tournament games, hit another five in the first half. The Badgers shot 10 for 25, assisting on seven of those buckets. Meanwhile, the Orange only have two assists, but have had one of their best offensive halves of the season, shooting 63.6 percent.
SECOND HALF KEYS:
1. Tempo control: The Orange took the lead by forcing turnovers, bad shots and getting out in transition. Wisconsin had an early lead by playing in a halfcourt set and methodically working for open shots. Whoever gets their way will win the game.
2. Containing the 3: Wisconsin collectively shoots 36 percent from downtown, and had another great showing from beyond the arc. Syracuse will have to continue to defend the perimeter and slow down Ryan Evans and Berggren, among others.
3. Rebounding: The Orange is up 13-10 right now, but three of the 10 Wisconsin rebounds have been on the offensive end. The Badgers turned those rebounds into five extra points.