No. 2 Wisconsin (26-7) vs. No. 15 American (20-12); Thursday, March 20 – 11:40 a.m. CST on TruTV @ Milwaukee’s Bradley Center
For the 16th consecutive season, the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team is in the running for a NCAA Tournament title.
The team’s No. 2 seed equals the highest seed ever received by UW. It’s the eighth time the Badgers have earned a top-five seed under coach Bo Ryan, going 6-1 in the first round when seeded fifth or higher.
The Badgers had eight winning seasons from 1954 to 1995. They have had one losing season since then.
All recent history inside the programs speaks well for UW. Looking back, the Badgers had just eight winning seasons from 1954 to 1995.
Since then, just one losing season under coach Brad Soderberg.
Wisconsin earned a No. 5 seed last season and a No. 4 seed in each of the preceding three seasons. Those years included a pair of runs to the Sweet 16 in 2011 and 2012. Overall, UW has earned a top-six seed in 11 of its 13 NCAA tournament appearances under Ryan.
While a No. 1 seed has NEVER been knocked out in the first round, fans look no further than last season to a team that goes by the name of Florida Gulf Coast to see when a No. 2 was ousted.
Perhaps better known as “Dunk City,” FGC put on an absolute show in 2013, knocking off No. 2 Georgetown in the opening round before taking care of San Diego State to advance to the Sweet 16.
It was the third time in the past two NCAA tournaments that a No. 15 seed has pushed out a No. 2 seed. The others; Lehigh over Duke and Norfolk State over Missouri in 2012.
Don’t get too worried. No. 2 seeds still hold a 116-7 all-time record vs. N0. 15 seeds in the first round.
Wisconsin brings with them into the first round a little home-cooking.
While American gets on a plane bound from Washington D.C., UW will need just a 70 minute commute down I-94 before stopping off at the Bradley Center for the first two rounds of tourney play.