The last day of the college basketball season ended about as satisfyingly as possible for the Wisconsin Badgers. With the undisputed regular season crown already locked up thanks to a road win against arch-rival Minnesota earlier in the week, Wisconsin traveled to Columbus with nothing of significance on the line. Oh wait, a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and revenge from football season (for the fans, I doubt the players cared much about this) were both on the line.
The Badgers responded with a 72-48 demolition of the No. 23 Ohio State Buckeyes and head into the real portion of the season on a three game winning streak and brimming with confidence.
Really nice regular season, Wisconsin basketball. Now the real season starts. #March— Rich Hammie Quan (@drewhamm5) March 8, 2015
So, let's talk turkey. Since the Badgers earned one of the four coveted double byes in the Big Ten Tournament, their first game isn't until Friday morning. While it seems somewhat strange for the conference's top seed to be playing during lunch, I'm ecstatic that I'll be able to watch the game before I go into work so eff you, haters. The Badgers will begin postseason play at 11 a.m. CT Friday at the United Center in Chicago and the game will be aired by ESPN. Wisconsin will face off with the winner of the Nos. 8/9 matchup, an Illinois vs. Michigan slap-fight that will take place at 11 a.m. CT Thursday morning on Big Ten Network.
Here is what the opening rounds of the tournament look like (h/t for the pic to our gracious Sunday hosts from Land-Grant Holy Land):
If the Badgers are able to beat the winner of Illinois/Michigan on Friday, they will move on to the semifinals where they would face the winner of some combination of Penn State/Nebraska/Iowa/Purdue. The first semifinal, and the one Wisconsin would be participating in, of the day airs at noon CT on CBS with the second one 25 minutes after the end of the first one. The final is also on CBS and airs Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CT.
If all goes according to plan, and seed, the Badgers will have their second chance at beating Maryland on Sunday in the title game. This time on a neutral court and hopefully with the non-killing machine version of Dez Wells.
Soak it in, folks. This is the best Wisconsin basketball team (maybe ever) and every game is appointment viewing from here on out.