People essentially use two different barometers when measuring their team against the competition. Some go for the gut approach (Wisconsin is going to smoke them), while others are more analytic (Kenpom says Wisconsin is going to smoke them). Vegas, to me, provides a nice combination of the two schools of thought, letting the prevailing winds shape insider wisdom into a tidy little number representing something like reality.
I was hoping to find the odds for each team to win the Big Ten Tournament, but a too-soon look at the 2012 NCAA Tournament works too. Wisconsin is tied for 12th in the nation with 35/1 odds of winning the Big Dance. That mark puts them third in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (No. 2 in the nation at 13/2) and Michigan State (No. 6, 10/1), and ahead of Indiana (No. 15, 40/1) and Michigan (No. 21, 60/1).
It remains to be seen how Sunday's results shakes things up in Vegas. Ohio State's win could up their odds, and likewise damage Michigan State's. Wolverine fans excited about Michigan's first Big Ten Title since 1986 could also move the line. For now, it appears that the oddsmakers think relatively highly of the Badgers, and that they could outperform their 4/5-seed status.
Wisconsin secured the 4-seed in the conference tournament, and will face the winner between Penn State and Indiana in the second round.
Bo Ryan is the third best coach in college basketball at developing talent. The Big Ten owns three of the Top 5.
Tom Hammock has been named the Badgers' recruiting coordinator. Also the recruiting territories for the coaching staff have been revealed. Mike Markuson only taking Minnesota is the most immediate headscratcher.