Wisconsin Basketball heads to Chicago in search of a Big Ten Tournament title. Which three teams will they likely have to take down to win it all?
At long last, March Madness is officially upon us. Forget Christmas: this is the most wonderful time of year, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
After a stellar regular season in which Wisconsin finished fourth in arguably the nation’s best conference with a sparkling 22-9 record, the Badgers will kick off their postseason journey on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago. Wisconsin, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, will face the winner of the matchup between No. 5 Maryland and No. 12 Rutgers/No. 13 Nebraska.
Given how brutally competitive the conference has been from top to bottom this season, the Badgers’ road to a Big Ten title will certainly not be an easy one. If Wisconsin is going to bring some hardware back to Madison before kicking off its NCAA Tournament campaign next week, it’s not a stretch to say that the Badgers will need to be playing their best basketball of the season.
However, this is a team coming off of an incredibly shaky performance at Ohio State last weekend to conclude the regular season.
A win is a win, but we can’t just forget that Wisconsin found a way to blow a 23-point lead in the second half to the Buckeyes before pulling out a victory by the skin of their teeth in overtime. After such an epic collapse, fans certainly have some major cause for concern moving forward. The unfortunate reality is that, for Wisconsin, there is no such thing as an easy win this season, and no lead is safe. This kind of trend is not ideal in March, when the difference between moving on and going home for good often comes down to the slimmest of margins.
Nonetheless, this Wisconsin team has shown enough this season to prove that they are capable of making some serious noise in the next few weeks, and the Badgers are certainly among the top contenders to emerge as the Big Ten Tournament champions on Sunday afternoon.
Predicting how the tournament will shake out is a bit of a crapshoot given the conference’s depth, but here are the three teams the Badgers will most likely need to take down to accomplish the feat.