The NIT tournament begins for the Wisconsin Badgers tomorrow. As the number two seed, they will welcome the Bradley Braves to the Kohl Center. The Braves are 25-9 and are a part of the Missouri Valley Conference. A win tomorrow would result in a clash with either Villanova or Liberty. Tip time is 8:30 PM on ESPN. Here is a preview of tomorrow night’s game.
What Badger Team Shows Up?
Greg Gard said he's not playing around with lineups on Tuesday and experimenting with new guys. NIT is an extension of the 2022-23 season for #Badgers.
"We're in this thing to try and win. We're not doing this as a recreational activity."
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) March 13, 2023
I’m sure if you ask any coach or player on this team, they will tell you they would rather be playing in the NCAA Tournament. However, Greg Gard has mentioned the Badgers are trying to win this tournament and think this is the best decision for his team. I am sure the players had some say in this as well.
My opinion of this is similar to Gard’s. I think this is young team that needs to build off some momentum for the summer and into next year. Wisconsin has a chance to do that in this tournament. They have a chance to keep playing together and be rewarded for postseason play.
Does Wisconsin come out flat? Or do they come out with a purpose? That will be interesting to see as I am not sure how loud the Kohl Center will be tomorrow night.
Defend The Three
In a short review of the Bradley Braves, it looks like they shoot the ball from three well. The Braves have four players that shoot at least 34% from three. Over the last ten games. Bradley is 9-1 and has averaged 71 points a game, 33 rebounds, and four blocks. Wisconsin has struggled all season to rebound. They have also struggled at times defending the three. I think this is Bradley’s best shot to upset the Badgers tomorrow night.
The Braves best win came on February 26 as they beat Drake at home 73-61. Drake is a 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face Miami FL. The Braves also fell to Drake in the MVC title game on March 5. They have not played since. Will that make a difference?
While Bradley has 25 wins, there isn’t a ton that sticks out to me about this team. Steven Crowl should have a good game in the paint as he will have at least a four inch height difference on most of the Braves players. Some of his best games have also came against smaller centers. Greg Gard also mentioned he wants Crowl to be more aggressive. I will be looking to see how he opens this game up.
I am not all that confident in the size of the Kohl Center crowd. With little time to purchase tickets, it could be a sparse crowd. Wisconsin will have to likely find a way to generate their own momentum.
I think Wisconsin is their own worst enemy in this game. They did practice Saturday and Sunday so they should be fresh and ready to go. I am fairly confident Wisconsin moves on to the second round.
Wisconsin 75 Bradley 65
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I hope the Badgers shooting percentage is not good but very good 👍 Go Badgers