Northwestern’s discipline was insane vs. Ohio State

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Northwestern’s strategy to slow down Ohio State nearly worked on Saturday — slow it down and don’t let the Buckeyes get comfortable or get into a rhythm.

Yet until I read David Hess’ analysis at his Audacity of Hoops blog, I didn’t realize just how much the Wildcats slowed things down.

Forget the 48-possession game. The Wildcats were playing at a 38-possession pace. They rarely started their offense until at least 15 seconds were off the clock. Then they usually ran another 15-20 seconds off. (Click here to see his helpful graph.)

Even more insane, if they grabbed an offensive rebound, they kicked it out and restarted the offense. Northwestern’s average time of possession was 27 seconds. After an offensive rebound, it was an additional 15 seconds.

That’s discipline. (And a little insane.)

And when the Wildcats used at 31 seconds of the shot clock, they scored 1.6 points per possession. Either they were incredibly precise, or Ohio State’s defense got soft or slacked.

Perhaps Wisconsin can mimic Northwestern’s performance – they certainly will with tempo – and pull off the upset on Feb. 12. But it’ll need to be on its game in a big way.

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