The Wisconsin Badgers are almost halfway through the Big Ten season. As we close out January and head into February, teams begin to separate themselves in the Big Ten Basketball standings. As a fan, we begin to figure out who can make noise in March and who will most likely be on the bubble. The Badgers currently stand at 12-5 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten. The conference as a whole has been interesting, to say the least. Here are my current thoughts on this year’s team.
They Can Beat Anyone But Can Lose To Anyone
Over the course of the season, we have seen the Badgers beat some really good teams, but also struggle against bad teams. For example, the Badgers beat USC and Dayton on a neutral court, while also defeating Marquette on the road. The road win against Iowa is starting to look better now too.
However, we have seen this team struggle against teams such as UW-Green Bay, Western Michigan, and Lehigh for a half. They don’t seem to have a ton of energy at the Kohl Center. That needs to change if they want to move up the Big Ten Basketball standings.
We’re not sure what team we’re getting every night. The good news is we’ve seen this team at its best, but also at its worst. As we near the end of January, we need to see some more consistent play.
The Middle of the Pack in the Big Ten Basketball Standings
It’s obvious Purdue is the class of the Big Ten. It’s a battle for second place moving down. Right now, I can add Michigan State, Rutgers, and probably Illinois as the next bunch. Then what?
Wisconsin went out of the gate fast with a 3-0 start in conference play but then lost three in a row after Tyler Wahl suffered an ankle injury. He came back Tuesday, and the Badgers were able to beat Penn State.
Currently, Wisconsin is at 4-3 in the Big Ten and tied for fourth in the Big Ten Basketball standings. To be honest? That’s where I expected them. Only three games separate third-place Michigan and last-place Minnesota.
I do think this is a middle if the pack team and near the higher end of that. If I had to guess, this team could be somewhere between fifth and eighth by the time the Big Ten Tournament begins in March.
This Team Will Make the NCAA Tournament
Most NCAA Bracketoligists will have Wisconsin between a seven and 10 seed. Right now, I think that’s a fair spot. Of course, the Badgers could go on a run and improve their seeding. If Tyler Wahl is in the lineup, they have the team and pieces to do it.
What makes me nervous is any team in the Big Ten Basketball standings could be a four or five-game losing streak away from being out of the tournament. For example, Ohio State was looked at as the second-best team in the Big Ten by some analysts two weeks ago. Now? They are on a five-game losing streak and 10-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten, The conference is that loaded and deep. I’m not saying it will happen to Wisconsin, but it can happen to any team, especially this year.
I do think that could be the only reason Wisconsin misses the NCAA tournament. Barring something crazy, I think this team is an NCAA tournament team who will hear their name called Selection Sunday.
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