The 2012-13 season certainly had its ups and downs for the Wisconsin Badgers. After two wins a piece against the number one ranked Indiana Hoosiers and NCAA runners-up Michigan Wolverines in the regular season and Big-Ten tournament respectively, the season ultimately ended in big failure with a dismal loss against the Marshall Henderson led Ole Miss Rebels in just the second round. This marked the first time the Badgers had left the tournament without a win since 2006, when they lost to the Arizona Wildcats. Another season with similar end results is sure to heap the pressure on the front office and twelfth-year veteran coach Bo Ryan.
The Badgers will look to improve on their ‘so-so’ 9-4 record mustered in non-conference play in 2012, with disappointing losses to the Virginia Cavaliers and Creighton Blue Jays halting the momentum the team needed entering conference-play in January. Wins over many of the Big-Ten elite teams made up for that, but in order to climb the Big-Ten standings the Badgers must cut out the losses to lesser quality teams. The Big-Ten had eight teams in the end of season NCAA tournament, which was the most out of any conference in the country. The team ranked fifth out of that group behind Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and the Spartans of Michigan State.
Bo Ryan’s team find themselves in a bit of a predicament. They have proved over the last few seasons that they belong in post-season play, but now need to prove that they are among the best in the Big-Ten. Arguably the deepest division in terms of quality and big-time talent, playing the Hoosiers and Wolverines among others twice a year is a fantastic way of getting ready to take on the nation’s best. If they can improve on their modest 12-6 Big-Ten record, then that will automatically card them a higher seed in the tournament and a supposed easier route to a highly-prized Final Four appearance. You would have thought this year they could have got out of the first round with their number five seed, but that was not the case.
With all that said their 23-12 overall record including tournament play was by no means a bad one. Ultimately though, your season’s grade depends on your performance in the tournament. The Badgers of Wisconsin will be back at Kohl Centre nice and early this season for another shot at a Final Four appearance. The season proves to be another exciting one and we will be there every step of the way. Go Badgers!