We discussed the greatest roadblock Gary Andersen and his squad will face during the 2014-15 season in the April 22 Badger Bits: LSU. Other than that, the Big Ten slate for the Badgers is rather easy, to say the least. There are plenty of notable holes on both sides of the ball, so is it realistic that Wisconsin makes it back to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game? Yes, at least according to ESPN.com's Brian Fremeau (Insider). The Badgers have a 17 percent chance to win the conference, and a 15 percent chance to go 11-1 or 12-0. At worst, the team will have a 9-3 record, maybe 8-4, based solely on the play of Melvin Gordon. If the dicey situations at quarterback and wide receiver continue, the offense shouldn't be bad at all and the team's potential grows a little brighter. Plus, if the young guns in the back end of the secondary can handle their own and mitigate damages, the outlook is surprisingly good. All in all, Andersen has the possibility to have a solid second season in Madison.
Fox Sports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple expounded on Wisconsin's abysmal conference schedule, writing that its Big Ten opponents had a .343 winning percentage last season. Only Nebraska and Iowa finished over .500 in conference play in 2013. Well, this is awkward. In all seriousness, the Badgers can only control what is in front of them, and that is a favorable path to reach their third Big Ten championship in four years. We can only hope Gordon performs as well as he did the last time UW invaded Lucas Oil Stadium.
With Ohio State being one of the most elite college football programs in the country, you would think Urban Meyer would want to showcase this against other elite programs. That is not the case this year, as the Wisconsin-LSU matchup headlines the top Big Ten primetime matchups. The contest between two ranked teams kicks off in 123 days down in J.J. Watt's town of residence, not that we're counting or anything. This will be a great test for Andersen's young squad, in which I think the SEC speed will be too much for them.
As we all know, Sam Dekker is coming back to Madison for his junior season. Did he make the right move? Should he have taken the cash? I think he made the right move, largely because his jump shot is way too inconsistent. He can spot up fine from three-point territory, but he doesn't shot that well off the dribble. In contrast, he can get to the dish with ease, and the Badgers really benefit when he is aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. Dekker's NBA Draft stock could take off next season, as he was smart to return, says ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman (Insider).
"The Badgers should have a chance to return to the Final Four and Dekker could play his way into the lottery with a strong junior campaign."
It's never, ever too early to think about the possibilities of who is going to cut down the nets in college basketball next season. Surprisingly enough, or maybe not to some, Bo Ryan's squad has the third-best odds to be crowned kings of the land in 2015, debuting at 12/1. Kentucky and Duke lead the way at 5/1 and 9/1, respectively. Next year should be a grand ole time.
Russell Wilson took the cake at the top of the Top 50 jersey sales list.
Director of Football Operations Zach Nyborg is leaving Wisconsin to serve in the same capacity at BYU, his alma mater, next season.
The women's golf team is heading to the NCAA tournament as a No. 16 seed in the West regional.
The UW athletic department has teamed up with the You Can Play project.
Video of the Day
Wisconsin's all-time leader in three-pointers made, Ben Brust, never donned No. 29, but his scoring output against Minnesota in the 2014 Big Ten tournament fits today's date. Brust put up a career high on 8-of-15 shooting in the Badgers' 83-57 victory over the Gophers, including 9-of-9 from the charity stripe.