Five things Wisconsin Basketball needs to prove in Battle 4 Atlantis

ANN ARBOR, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Ethan Happ (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Ethan Happ (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Wisconsin Basketball
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 24: Head coach Greg Gard of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Wisconsin Basketball is participating in the Battle 4 Atlantis this week in the Bahamas.

The last time Wisconsin Basketball participated in the Battle 4 Atlantis was in 2014 when the Badgers came away with the tournament championship. Wisconsin fans will remember that year as perhaps the best in school history. Wisconsin went on to knock off undefeated Kentucky in the Final Four and play for a national championship against Duke. Playing in this early-season tournament has been good for Wisconsin.

This year’s tournament field includes a variety of interesting teams. First, Wisconsin will play Stanford on Wednesday to determine which side of the bracket they’ll fall into. They’ll then play either Florida or Oklahoma with potentially a chance to play for the tournament championship. The other four teams on the opposite side of the bracket are Virginia, Butler, Dayton, and Middle Tennessee State. Wisconsin will only play one of those teams in its third game of the tournament on Friday.

The way the two teams have begun their season suggest Wisconsin is a heavy favorite to beat Stanford. ESPN’s power index gives the Badgers an 88.4% chance to win and advance to the winner’s bracket of the tournament. If we’re using ESPN’s index to predict who Wisconsin will play, Florida is the likely opponent on Thanksgiving Day.

There are plenty of bad memories attached to the Gators. If the two teams meet each other in the tournament get ready to see and hear a heavy dose of Chris Chiozza’s buzzer beater in the tournament. But also be ready for Wisconsin to come out ready to go. This Wisconsin team is playing great basketball and has a winnable path to the tournament championship game.

Beyond winning this eight-team tournament the Badgers need to use this opportunity to continue improving as a team and proving themselves to the rest of the country.