Wisconsin and Syracuse have played only twice in their long basketball histories, and the Badgers’ victory came in 1927. The score was 31-24. Sounds like Bo Ryan’s kind of game.
Fourth-seeded Wisconsin enters its East Region semifinal Thursday night against Syracuse, the No. 1 seed, with the stingy defense that has been the trademark of Ryan’s teams. Unlike Syracuse, which plays a 2-3 zone, the Badgers have had great success with their tough man-to-man defense.
The matchup presents a contrast in styles at both ends of the floor. Wisconsin allowed an N.C.A.A.-low 52.9 points a game during the regular season and has allowed an average of 53 in victories against Montana and Vanderbilt in the N.C.A.A. tournament.