Badger Hunt

Bronson Koenig shoots
Badgers v Fla. A & M
12/23/2016 - dwm photo
The Wisconsin Badgers finished the season 25 - 9 overall and 12 - 7 in the B1G conference.

Amazingly enough, this is going to disappoint some fans.

Badger fans of a certain age have a long enough memory to appreciate these two simple statistics:

  1. 2017 will mark Wisconsin's 19th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament 
  2. It's the 16th year finishing 4th or higher in the Big Ten regular season standings

This Thursday, the Badgers finish their dance card, starting with a date against Virginia Tech in a first round game.

Bucky Badger  12/23/2016 dwm photo
An 8th seed feels a little low for Wisconsin. Its their lowest seeding since 2009.

Especially when Maryland and Minnesota earned higher seeds when the Badgers were better head to head.  One reason I can see for the 8th seed is the streak of losing 5 games out of 6 near the end of the season, that cost the Badgers.

However, a relatively down conference and some non-conference opponents who weren't as strong as usual weakened their schedule.  That's why I think they get a lower seed than usual.

They have an opportunity to impress early.  Beat VA Tech and likely play Villanova, on Saturday.   (Check back Thursday, March 16 for my Bracket Forecast.)

Wisconsin started the season strong, stumbled near the finish, then bounced back with three straight strong performances before falling in the Big Ten Title game to a Michigan team which was simply the better team that afternoon.

The seniors on this team, Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes, Zac Showalter, and Vitto Brown, have had a great ride.

Let's Go Red!
12/23/2016  dwm
They experienced the Final Four. Twice.

Three straight Sweet Sixteens (the only NCAA team do so).  The chance to make a fourth sweet run will probably require them to beat top-ranked Villanova, so those odds are tough.

They have an opportunity to post more victories than any graduating class of Badgers.

It's an exciting time for a hoops fan and there are some teams in the dance I'm curious to watch.

The ball goes up on the First Four today - can't wait for the March Buckets frenzy Thursday.