NCAA Tournament Preview: Showy and '3tto' Brown form supporting cast
Zak Showalter's 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left forced overtime between Wisconsin and Florida in their Sweet Sixteen showdown.Image By: Brandon Moe
Vitto Brown burst onto the scene last year in his junior season when he lept from 6.4 minutes per game to more than 25. Most shockingly, he stepped into a role as a lights-out, spot-up 3-point shooter. In his first two seasons in Madison, Brown took exactly zero threes. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he drilled 40 percent of his 95 attempts from deep last season and got out to a solid start to the 2016-’17 season. But since the Big Ten season began, Brown has regressed to an unreliable shooter that is mostly on the court for defensive purposes and his strong grasp of the offense. He shot just 25.8 percent from deep range during the conference season and a putrid 39.6 percent from inside the arc. For Brown, the key won’t be performing well in March, it will be not falling apart.
— Thomas Valtin Erwin
While Wisconsin’s win over Xavier in last year’s Round of 32 game was forever immortalized by senior guard Bronson Koenig’s buzzer-beating three, if not for redshirt senior guard Zak Showalter drawing a charge seconds earlier, Koenig never would have had the chance to shoot the ball. Such plays have been commonplace for Showalter since he arrived in Madison five years ago. Charges, steals and pass deflections have always been a staple of his game. The Big Ten All-Defensive Team honoree had yet another stellar defensive season, setting a new career-high with 43 steals. On top of his defensive contributions, Showalter set new career-highs across the board, in points per game, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage. After beginning his Wisconsin tenure as merely a defensive specialist, Showalter has emerged as one of the Badgers’ key offensive players as well.
— Ben Pickman
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