I know what you’re thinking, we’re not even done with January yet. However, it’s never too soon to start thinking about March Madness and Wisconsin Basketball.
Early signs look good for the Wisconsin basketball
While the Badgers are no longer ranked, they are still receiving votes in the AP poll. A little disconcerting is the zero votes they’ve garnered in the coaches. poll. Evidently opposing coaches don’t think very highly of Wisconsin.
In looking at 5 mock brackets, Wisconsin is seeded #11 in two of them, 10 in one, and #9 in the remaining two. Interestingly enough, three of these “experts” placed the Badgers in the East Region.
As a conference, the Big Ten leads all conferences with as many as 10 teams selected and Rutgers is one of the first four out.
Remaining schedule and key games
Wisconsin has 12 games remaining on the schedule, with an equal number of six home and away. The home games still yet to be played are Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan, Rutgers, Iowa, and Purdue. The road contests are Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Minnesota to close out the regular season.
Just winning the home games would PROBABLY get the Badgers, based on how strong the Big Ten is this season. Wisconsin should be favored in all of the home games except Purdue. If we count that as a loss (although I believe Wisconsin could win), then they need to steal a game on the road.
Luckily there are some prime games just for that. In reality, if Wisconsin plays to its potential, any of those road games could be a victory. But the most likely ones to pick up are Ohio State and Minnesota.
If they lost against Purdue at home but pick up road wins at Ohio State and Minnesota, Wisconsin’s final regular season record would be 19-11, with an 11-9 conference mark. Again, with the strength of the Big Ten this year, that should be more than enough to get in.
For the people out there that want to daydream about a basketball vacation during the doldrums of winter, I completely understand. So I’ll include all of the cities that are hosting first/second round games so you can start your hypothetical planning.
Dayton, Birmingham, Des Moines, Orlando, Sacramento, Albany, Columbus, Denver, Greensboro, Las Vegas, New York City, Kansas City, Louisville, and Houston.
There’s a city for every type of person out there: warm weather, snowy weather, big cities, gambling, golf, you name it.