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NCAA Tournament 2014, Wisconsin vs. American: Badgers open as No. 2 seed in Milwaukee

As expected, Wisconsin will open the NCAA tournament very close to home.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin drew a favorable NCAA tournament seeding Sunday evening when the selection committee slotted the Badgers as the No. 2 seed in the West regional. UW will open the tourney at 11:40 a.m. CT Thursday vs. No. 15 American at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The game will be broadcast on truTV with Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel on the call.

The Badgers finished the season 26-7 (12-6 Big Ten), albeit a bit earlier than expected after dropping their second game of the Big Ten Tournament to eventual champion Michigan State on Saturday. Talk of UW possibly earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament had Badgers fans dreaming of winning the whole tournament in Indianapolis, but that was not in the cards.

Nevertheless, Wisconsin has made its 16th straight NCAA tournaments. The No. 2 seed ties the program high previously reached in 2007. UW is 25-18 all-time in the NCAA tournament, including 16-12 mark  under head coach Bo Ryan, who has led the Badgers to NCAA berths in each of his 13 seasons in Madison.

In American, Wisconsin faces a team that went 20-12 and won the Patriot League championship game vs. Boston University, 55-36, on Wednesday. The Eagles were just 10-20 a year ago, but now they return to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years after finishing second in conference play with a 13-5 record. This year's trip is American's third in program history and its first since winning back-to-back Patriot League titles in 2008 and 2009. Both of its prior tournament berths ended after one game.

Wisconsin and American have never faced each other.

UW-Milwaukee also earned a tournament bid, drawing the No. 15 seed in the West. The Panthers will face No. 2 Villanova in Buffalo, N.Y. UW-Green Bay, however, was left out of the tournament.

We'll have much more on Wisconsin's outlook for March Madness on B5Q throughout the week.