Wisconsin get tough first-round matchup as the five-seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Badgers finally know who thier first-round matchup will be in the NCAA Tournament.

Mar 17, 2024; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Chucky Hepburn (23) celebrates in the Big Ten Tournament Championship.
Mar 17, 2024; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Chucky Hepburn (23) celebrates in the Big Ten Tournament Championship. / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough loss to Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament, the Wisconsin Badgers had to quickly turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament Selection Show to figure out who they would be facing in just a few days.

The Badgers were projected a six slipping to seven seed before heading into the Big Ten Tournament, but clutch plays and top-notch shooting led them to the Big Ten Championship. Wisconsin kept the game close with Illinois the entire game with each team taking the lead every couple of minutes, but ultimately the Badgers ran out of gas at the end.

The NCAA Selection Committee however rewarded the Badgers with the five seed, but they drew a very tough first-round opponent. Wisconsin will face a very hot James Madison team that is currently on a 13-game winning streak.

This is Wisconsin's first trip back to the NCAA Tournament after missing it in 2023. In 2022, the Badgers were upset as a three-seed by 11-seed Iowa State. The last time this team was awarded a five-seed was in 2019 when they were upset in the first round by 12-seed Oregon.

The Badgers will hope to not repeat what they have done in the past few years with exits in the first or second round. Greg Gard's squad looked like a team that was slumping at the wrong time, but they had righted the ship at just the right time.

This will be a tough matchup with James Madison who has a high-powered offense with the ability to shoot the three ball well. Wisconsin will have the be the team we saw in the Big Ten Tournament to make it past this team.

The other disadvantage the Badgers have in this matchup is that the Dukes have had a longer rest time since the Sun Belt Tournament ended on Monday, March 11. That is a full week of rest so far for the Duke while the Badgers just finished their tournament on Sunday, March 17.

Luckily James Madison and Wisconsin's game drew a Friday matchup so the Badgers will have an extra day to rest. This game will be played in Brooklyn, N.Y. so the Dukes will also have a shorter trip than the Badgers.

It is going to be tough to pick this matchup and I think this is one of the games I am most excited to watch. This game gets the late slate being played at 9:40 p.m. ET.