As we stand here in the middle of May, we are starting to hear the first announcements of the NCAA Basketball schedule. With this limited information, we can now start to shape the forthcoming season for the Wisconsin Badgers. Coming off a disappointing loss to the Ole Miss Rebels in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in March, players, coaches and fans alike are anxious to see how their season may play out this time around. So far here is what we can tell you.
Coach Bo Ryan will take his Badgers to South Dakota to open the season against St Johns, marking the first Division 1 game to be held in the newly built Sanford Pentagon facility in Sioux Falls. We also know that the Badgers will play the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans just once this year, with both games coming at home at Kohl Centre. Not only that, the Badgers will play the not so daunting Nebraska Huskers and Penn State Nittany Lions away in single play. A perfect outcome for what could make all the difference in the increasingly tough Big-Ten Conference.
More details of the non-conference match-ups will be released at a laterdate, but it is currently believed that the Sam Dekker led Badgers will face seven of ESPN’s pre-season Top-25 teams. A game at home to the Florida Gators has already been announced, and there will presumably be a match-up against long-time rivals Marquette University. With the team finishing just two games behind the Indiana Hoosiers, the eventual Big-Ten regular season champions in conference play, the Badgers seem to have the schedule and returning team that may see it improve on the fifth-place finish it achieved last season.
As the schedule announcements start to leak out more frequently, you will of course be the first to know. Depending on more favourable match-ups throughout the year for the Badgers, and adverse announcements for the Big-Ten’s elite teams, this may just be the year that the University of Wisconsin sends a basketball team to the Final Four for the first time since 2000. As always, Go Badgers!