Conference tournaments have wrapped up and the final bracket is in. The Wisconsin basketball team was given the ninth seed in the South region by the NCAA tournament selection committee.
The Badgers (17-12) will play 8 seed North Carolina (18-10) in the opening round of the tournament on Friday. The time and location of the game has not been released. The winner will advance to the round of 32 and play the winner of 1 seed Baylor and 16 seed Hartford.
Bracketology experts all had significantly different opinions regarding what seed UW would receive heading into selection Sunday. This season, Wisconsin posted a 5-10 record in Quad 1 games and a 6-2 record in Quad 2 games. In addition, they played a school-record 11 regular season games against AP Top 25 teams. The Badgers’ loss to Iowa in the conference tournament dropped them to 0-9 against squads that finished above them in Big Ten standings. With no particularly big wins, but also no bad losses, Wisconsin is a wild card in the big dance.
Playing in arguably the best conference in the country, the Badgers enter the NCAA tournament losers of six of their last eight games. The experienced Wisconsin team knows what’s at stake now; win or go home. The senior-led group hopes to close out the season on a high note, and the final stretch begins Friday. Wisconsin opened the season ranked #4 in the country, and many favored the Badgers to repeat as BIG 10 champs. Though the team hasn’t quite lived up to the high expectations many placed on them, the tournament gives them one last shot to prove themselves. Will Wisconsin thrive playing teams outside of the loaded BIG 10, or will they continue to struggle to play complete games? We’ll find out soon.
There’s only one thing that we know for certain: it’s March, anything can happen. Enjoy the madness, Badger fans!
Follow me on Twitter at @Mara__Allen and follow us @WiscoHeroics1 for more great content! To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here.