Wisconsin Basketball: 3 Badgers Storylines Heading into Big Ten Play

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Dec 12, 2015; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger cheers on his team in the student section during the game with the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Kohl Center. Marquette defeated Wisconsin 57-55. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin Basketball: Questions as the Badgers begin B1G play

As the college basketball schedule creeps into conference play, plenty of questions remain for the Wisconsin Badgers, who will host Purdue on Tuesday night in their Big Ten opener.

We analyzed the non-conference portion of the Wisconsin basketball season that concluded with a win against UW-Green Bay in which the Badgers nearly blew a 30-point lead in the second half in Greg Gard‘s head-coaching debut.

The Badgers will have their work cut out for them as they head into the Big Ten season with a tough conference schedule ahead. In 18 Big Ten games, Wisconsin will play five teams twice, including arguably the conference’s four best teams – Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland and Indiana.

It will be tough sledding for the Badgers, who are at risk of breaking two incredible streaks. Anyone who has ever seen a Wisconsin basketball game on TV knows that the Badgers have finished no worse than fourth in the Big Ten in the Bo Ryan era, a span of 14 years. Also, Wisconsin has appeared in the NCAA tournament every year since the 1998-99 season. With an 8-5 overall record, it will be a difficult task to add onto that 17-year stretch, which is tied for the fourth-longest active streak.

It has been an interesting year for the Wisconsin basketball program, and the Badgers’ Big Ten season has more intrigue than ever simply because we do not know what to expect. In order to make its 18th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, Wisconsin needs to make some noise in Big Ten play. Here are some of the top storylines heading into the conference season for the Badgers, starting with the change at the head of the program.

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