The Wisconsin Badgers earned the fourth seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face the Montana Grizzlies, Big Sky regular season and tournament champions. The Syracuse Orange are the top seed in the East region, which will play regional games in Boston. Ohio State is the #2 seed, while Florida State is #3.
Montana won 25 games this season, but did not play a single team ranked in the top-25 all year. According to kenpom.com, the Grizzlies rank 156th in the nation in offensive rating, and 42nd in defensive rating. They shoot the ball well (52.9 eFG%, 39th) and don’t rely on any one offensive strategy too heavily. But the Badgers will surely be the best defensive team they have faced all season by a wide margin. Montana has also had trouble keeping opponents off the free-throw line, giving up a relatively poor 39.1 FTA/FGA. The Badgers are terrible at drawing fouls, but they also take great pleasure in drawing late calls out of frustration after forcing opponents to defend for 30+ seconds. If Montana can’t finish defensive possessions, the Badgers could pile up points without having to deal with their defense. Wisconsin will have to finish defensive possessions too, but they shouldn’t face too much pressure on the glass: Montana ranks 284th in offensive rebound percentage.
Should the Badgers prevail, they will face the winner of the 5/12 matchup: #5 Vanderbilt, which upset #1 Kentucky to win the SEC Tournament, or #12 Harvard.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Michigan State secured the final #1 seed with a tight win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game. Indiana and Michigan are #4 seeds in the South and Midwest regions, respectively, while Purdue earned the Midwest’s #10 seed, bringing the conference’s total bids to 6.