It’s no secret that expectations weren’t very high for this Wisconsin basketball team at the start of the 2021-22 season. Last season, the team severely underperformed despite being a heavily experienced team full of seniors who had a lot of success within the program.
Now, most of those guys are gone. The only one left standing is Brad Davison (yes, haha, make your jokes). Outside of him, there is junior Tyler Wahl and some sophomores and freshmen.
Not necessarily a team screaming win-now. There is a lot of inexperienced players on this team, and most writers were happy to write them off, including ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, who runs the NCAA Bracketology on ESPN.com, a projection of the NCAA Tournament field.
At the beginning of the season, the Badgers were nowhere to be found in the field of 68. They weren’t considered one of the first four out, or even the next four out after that.
The Wisconsin basketball doesn’t seem to care about what others think, though. They don’t care that they don’t have a team full of seniors. They have three first-time starters on this team, one of which is now considered one of the best players in the Big Ten through their first nine games.
The Badgers now sit at 8-1 and are ranked 22nd in the country. Something most, including Wisconsin basketball fans, wouldn’t have predicted.
Conference play just started and there is a long way to go, but this team feels like they are a legitimate threat in the conference, and other people, including Lunardi, could be feeling the same way.
Lunardi’s most up-to-date version of Bracketology is from December 10th, and he currently has the Badgers as a 5-seed and trending upwards.
It’s a long season and the Badgers are sure to suffer some more losses along the way. But if they continue to play the way they are, there’s no reason to think they won’t make the NCAA Tournament.