Badger Bits: Experts wary of Wisconsin in this year's tourney

Bo Ryan looks to avoid yet another exit in the early rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers tip off against the Montana Grizzlies at 1:10 p.m. CT on TNT.

Et tu Andy? Katz, a Badger grad, marked down the Montana Grizzlies among his favorite double-digit seeds to pull off upsets in the first (err, second) round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

He isn't the only one who foresees a potential upset. Myron Medcalf made Montana over Wisconsin one of his 10 bold predictions for the upcoming tournament. Gregg Doyel agreed with his bracket. Meanwhile, Luke Winn at Sports Illustrated raised some potential quibbles over the uber-defenses of Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State, and what they potentially say about the rest of the Big Ten.

Get past the Grizzlies, and Wisconsin will likely have to face the Vanderbilt Commodores, victors over Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. Vandy became bracket darlings with the win (and rightfully so), which necessarily means many predictions of yet another second-round exit for the Badgers.

Not that Wisconsin doesn't deserve some skepticism. Coming off an ugly loss to Michigan State, it makes sense why prognosticators may be a little wary of the Badgers' tournament prospects. A lot will turn on whether the offense can be more Jekyll and less Hyde. If Rob Wilson wants to continue his swaggerous ways, it certainly would be a help. If not, we could be headed for Bo Ryans seventh early-round exit in his 11-year career.

We'll know more come Game 1, which, by the way, tips off on TNT at 1:10 p.m. CT.

Monday's Links:

Dave Heller has a complete round-up of reactions to the Badgers' draw so far.

Tom Oates say Wisconsin avoided Kentucky, but drew arguably the toughest region in the tournament instead.

Wisconsin was rated 14th overall by the selection committee.

Montana head coach Freddie Owens already has an intimate knowledge of Bo Ryan's system: he played for the Badgers from 2000-2004. Ryan praised Owens as a hard-nosed defensive player.

Ryan cited the road win over Purdue as a turning point in his press conference following the seeding announcement.

Here the capsules for each team in the East Region. Grizzlies guard Will Cherry is mentioned as a player to watch, though five players hit double digits in his team's win over Weber State this week.

Bret Bielema is officially off the market. Andy Baggot talked with the coach before his nuptials on Saturday.

Kyle Wojta on a successful Pro Day

Wrapping up: Chuck Schwartz with an excellent recap of the Badgers' loss to Denver in the WCHA Tournament, ending a difficult season.

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