Depending on who you ask, the Badgers could be a first-round bust or a Final Four contender. They will take their first steps towards their destiny when they tip off against Montana at 1:10 p.m CT.
The Badgers are reading all over the meter when it comes to this year's NCAA Tournament. Of course, there are plenty predicting a swift boot via the foot of the Montana Grizzlies. Wisconsin's first-round demise has been one of the trendier prognostications at the eyeball level. At the sabermetric level the Badgers could be positioning themselves for quite a run. Bill Connelly at SB Nation re-seeded the East region based on Ken Pomeroy's ratings, and Wisconsin came in No. 2.
Unsurprisingly, Connelly ranked UW's defense highly, placing them second behind Ohio State's. Wisconsin's offense is perhaps ranked higher than many would have expected, however, coming in fourth behind OSU, Syracuse and Vanderbilt. Bo Ryan gave reporters an impromptu pop quiz to stem misinformation about his stagnant offense, asking them to name the least and most effective scoring offenses of his career. This year's iteration came in seventh out of 11 squads averaging 1.062 points per possession, or just under one-tenth off the highwater mark (1.158) set by last year's team. This year's mark is good enough for 55th-best in the nation, which isn't juggernaut status but otherwise pretty darn good.
Of course, you've probably seen enough long stretches gone without scoring and too many missed 3-pointers at the end of the shot clock to think that Wisconsin is invincible. So chime in below the jump, vote, and let us know how far you think the Badgers can go in this year's tournament. Tip off's in four hours, y'all. Get excited.
Bo Ryan and Co. look back at January's win on the road at Purdue as the key turning point in the season.
Albuquerque's high elevation could be a big advantage for the Grizzlies, who are used to playing high up in Montana.
Montana's 7-foot center used to play quarterback in high school, isn't considering a transfer to UW.
Freddy Owens says that his Grizzlies remind him of his senior season at UW.
Sticking a fork in the hockey season: A look at the Badgers' woeful performance in tight games.
Mike Bianchi doesn't hate Ron Zook? Oh please come back, Coach.
Wrapping up: BRET BIELEMA'S WEDDING CAKE
How far will Wisconsin go in the 2012 NCAA Tournament?
First round exit (1 vote)
Second round (12 votes)
Sweet 16 (38 votes)
Elite Eight (37 votes)
Final Four (23 votes)
Championship Game loss (0 votes)
All the way, baby (17 votes)
128 total votes