Wisconsin coach Greg Gard knows UNC is a strong rebounding team, but, having gone through the Big Ten, he thinks the Badgers will be prepared.
“I don't know if it's a whole lot different,” he said. “Obviously, their numbers jump out in terms of offensive rebounding, I think they get 41 percent of their misses is what I was told today, so they get 10 percent of their points come off putbacks. We see teams that are like that, Iowa, gets on the glass pretty well. Michigan State has done that in the past and gotten on the glass pretty well. It’s similar. So there's some similar tendencies and traits to teams we see in our league as well, in terms of transition, making sure we're getting guys back, making sure we're getting our defense set, and obviously the ability to minimize second-chance opportunities.”
While UNC is No. 1 in the country, with a 41.2 percent offensive rebounding rate, Iowa is No. 84 at 30.7. Michigan State is No. 94 at 30.4.
Gard is also aware that UNC coach Roy Williams has never lost a first-round NCAA game.
“Well, one is that he’s had really good teams, you know,” he said. “Wwhether he's been at Kansas or North Carolina. So that's part of it, you know? And obviously, he's a Hall of Fame coach. Has he won 900 yet? He’s in the 900s? Yeah. So he's been doing it for a long time and obviously had tremendous success at both places. But I think it's a combination. Obviously always having good teams, but also him doing a good job of preparing them and putting them in that position.”