Selection Sunday is just one week away and for the Wisconsin Badgers, their case for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament keeps getting better. And they have six conference champions to thank for that.
Throughout the regular season, the Badgers have faced some tough and rugged competition. Not only in the Big Ten, but Wisconsin has the second toughest strength of schedule in the country and now we are starting to see why. As the regular season comes to an end and league tournaments begin, we’re starting to see the cream rise to the top.
And for the Badgers, that is a very good thing as they start to build-up they tournament resume.
Five teams that the Badgers have defeated this season won their respected regular season conference titles while one team, Eastern Kentucky, has won their conference tournament.
It all started way back in November when Wisconsin took down the (at the time) 11th ranked Florida Gators 59-53 inside the Kohl Center. The Gators were short-handed that evening, but now they are the SEC regular season champion and the hottest team heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Four days later Wisconsin barely came away with a win at the Resch Center, narrowly beating eventual Horizon League champs UW-Green Bay 69-66. The win was the Badgers third in a row to open the season.
Around Thanksgiving the Badgers took part in the Cancun Challenge and in the semi finals took down the Atlantic 10 champion St. Louis Billikens. Wisconsin would go on to defeat West Virgina and become the winner of the 2013 Cancun Challenge.
December saw the Badgers take on the Virginia Cavaliers in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Charlottesville, VA. Although it was Virginia who recently won the regular season ACC title, it was the Badgers who came away with the 48-38 win that December night.
Wisconsin made short work of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament champion Eastern Kentucky, winning handily 86-61. It was the last game for Wisconsin before a two-week Christmas break.
Finally in February the Badgers took down Big Ten regular season champion Michigan Wolverines in what I consider Wisconsin’s most impressive victory of the season. Bo Ryan and company marched into Ann Arbor and the Crisler Center and came away with 75-62 win. Winning on the road in the Big Ten is not easy, especially against a good team like Michigan.
There you have it. A nice little trip down memory lane and six victories over eventual conference champions. And those six victories will help Wisconsin build a case for a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness sure is fun, isn’t it folks?