Wisconsin Basketball: What NIT seed did the Badgers receive?

Just as we suspected (but hoped against), the Wisconsin Badgers failed to get an invitation to the NCAA tournament. However, for the Badgers faithful, the season is not over.

Wisconsin Basketball gets a #2 seed

The Badgers earned a #2 seed, which allows them to play their first-round game, against Bradley University, in the friendly confines of the Kohl Center. This match-up tips off at 8:30 (CST) this Tuesday, March 14th on ESPN.

Following an amazing 11-2 start, injuries started a downward spiral that Wisconsin basketball could not recover from. To think that they went 6-12 after the New Year is disappointing, to say the least.

Going into the Big Ten conference tournament, their NCAA Tournament hopes were still alive. Sadly, those dreams were shattered by a lackluster 30-minute performance that could not be overcome with a furious 10-minute comeback that resulted in a loss to Ohio State.

The only real question on Sunday would be if Wisconsin would accept their invitation to the NIT.

Luckily for the dedicated Badger fans who cannot get enough of Wisconsin sports, the basketball season continues, albeit in a slightly disappointing arena.

Concern for Wisconsin Basketball

Motivation, or a lack thereof, is a problem that seems to plague Wisconsin basketball this year. Their tepid first 30 minutes against Ohio State, when their NCAA Tournament life was literally on-the-line, sadly was not an isolated incident.

The last game of the season, against their border rivals from Minnesota, saw the Badgers sleep-walk through the first half. Fortunately, their comeback that day was successful.

If motivation was a problem when they could have made March Madness, what is it going to be like when they’re playing in the second-tier tourney?

Wisconsin’s opponent

The Bradley Braves, out of the Missouri Valley Conference, finished in first place with a 25-9 record. They lost to Drake in the championship game of the MVC Tournament.

I will go in-depth about them in a future article. They play very tight defense, averaging giving up 62.2 points per game, which is 15th in the country. Wisconsin’s offense will have their work cut out for them, to be sure.

Bradley’s attitude could go one of two ways. They could be very pissed off that with a 25-9 record and winning the MVC regular season, they were snubbed by the NCAA selection committee and play their hearts out, in an attempt to prove the official “bracketologists” wrong.

Or they could be disappointed with the NIT bid and play apathetically because they’re not in the “Big Dance”.

Although they have made a few NCAA tournaments, their pedigree isn’t as accomplished as Wisconsin’s, so the first scenario is much more likely.

I just hope that Wisconsin doesn’t fall into the second scenario.