How the Wisconsin Badgers Win the National Championship in 2026

A look at how Badger basketball could realistically win the title in the 2025-26 season.
North Texas vs Wisconsin
North Texas vs Wisconsin / Louis Grasse/GettyImages

It finally happens for Badger basketball in the 2025-2026 season -- a National Championship. Through statistical modeling and reckless deduction, we've determined that your Wisconsin Badgers will be cutting down the nets. So, how do they do it?

2024 Recruiting Class

Daniel Freitag, who will be a true freshman this fall, is the highest rated point guard recruit in Badger history. According to 247 Sports, he's currently the 107th ranked player in the class but he was as high as 86th on their list at one point. He comes in with a huge chip on his shoulder and is hungry to prove the rankings wrong.

Jesse Temple of the Athletic got a perfect quote from Freitag to exemplify that, “In my head, I’m a top-15 player in the country. So me being top 150, it’s something that fuels me almost. I think if I was a top-five player in the grade on these rankings, maybe that’d be some pressure. But being top 150, it’s almost disrespect. And I’m all for showing it next year, proving them wrong. Throw me 120 players, put them in front of me, you can see with your own eyes.”

Wisconsin also landed wing Jack Robinson who is the 109th ranked player in the class. A former high school teammate of Nolan Winter, the two reunite now in Madison.

Landing two borderline top 100 recruits is a huge boost to the Badgers in 2024 and beyond. As freshman, the duo might not dominate the court immediately but given time, and Freitag especially, could be top players in the Big Ten and propel Wisconsin to a 2025-2026 Championship.

Zach Kinziger

The 2025 shooting guard commit from De Pere is the 127th ranked prospect in the class and it should only go up from there. Kinziger is the lone commitment for 2025 so far but there's a lot to like, espeically his shooting. He and Freitag would be a filthy duo running the Badger backcourt.

He's also now a key recruiter for Wisconsin in a sense. In-state recruit and 19th overall prospect Davion Hannah will certainly cross paths with Kinziger and a commitment from him would shoot Wisconsin's 2025 class into the stratosphere and propel them even closer to a 2026 natty.

Transfer Portal

While Greg Gard and the Badgers lost some serious talent this offseason in the portal with the departures of AJ Storr and Chucky Hepburn, it feels like an anomaly. And of course I expect the Badgers to lose some transfers in the coming years, just not the two best players on the team in the same offseason. I also think a good 2024-25 season will go a long way in not only preventing that, but also helping to bring in some elite talent.

Final Takeaways

Now, a lot needs to go right obviously. The Badgers could lose tons of transfers, have disappointing recruits and Greg Gard could lose the locker room, but the foundation is set up well for the Badgers to be successful. So who's to say that in 2026 it couldn't be our humble Badgers cutting down the nets in Indianapolis?