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Traevon Jackson to return for Wisconsin in Sweet 16



Wisconsin Badgers point guard Traevon Jackson will return to the floor for the Badgers’ Sweet 16 matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday night:

Jackson was Wisconsin’s starting point guard at the start of the season, but he fractured his foot against Rutgers on Jan. 11. The Badgers have gone 18-1 in his absence, but his return will add more depth to the lineup. It’s unclear whether Jackson or Bronson Koenig – the starter in Jackson’s absence – will start, but it’s likely the senior comes off the bench.

Before getting hurt, Jackson was averaging 9.4 points and 2.9 assists while shooting 45.6 percent from the field. His three-point shooting had taken a dip after he shot 38.2 percent in his junior season, as he’s at just 28.6 percent from deep this year.

Wisconsin has plenty of other three-point shooters (like Koenig), although it was a struggle from three in the Round of 32 against Oregon. The Badgers shot just 7-of-23 from long range against the Ducks, which was one of the reasons why the game remained close throughout. Wisconsin escaped with a 72-65 victory, thanks in large part to Sam Dekker’s strong second-half play. Dekker had 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half.

The Badgers opened as 5½-point favorites against the Tar Heels, who beat the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Round of 32 to set up the matchup with Wisconsin. The line has moved to as high as 6½ points at Top Bet. The return of Jackson could certainly be factoring into that.

The Badgers currently have 8/1 odds to win the entire tournament, according to Bovada. Those are the fourth-best odds in the field.

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