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Bracketology Report: Big Ten leads the pack for the Big Dance

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The Badgers are one of TEN Big Ten teams battling for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Growing up, I thought Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had one of the coolest jobs in sports. The guy emerged from his habitat in November and made the rounds on ESPN until things really ramped up in March. Once the tourney was set, he kicked up his feet and watched some ball. His work done once again. It was the coolest thing to me.

I liked it so much that I tried to get into his bracketology online class when I was in college. Sadly, I was one of thousands and didn’t make the cut but to this day I love to check each release to see where said teams end up where.

Now that football is done I’ve decided to start doing a weekly bracketology report. However, I wanted to change it up a bit. Sure, I will go through and tell you where the Badgers and other teams currently sit, but I will also try and give some factoids, match ups, or things I find interesting. Essentially, I’ll try to do more than recap Lunardi’s release every week. You could do that yourself with a Google search.

Anyway, welcome. Let’s talk.

Badger Buzz

About a month ago the Badgers weren’t sniffing the field of 68. In fact, they weren’t even on the bubble. IN FACT, they weren’t even on the next four out. However, after a solid stretch Wisconsin has found it’s way back into the dance. Lunardi currently projects the Badgers as an 8-seed in the East region where they would take on the Florida Gators. I for one, would rather pull my teeth out with no Novocaine.

Reliving that heartbreak of a game is not something my mental health needs right now. Still, it gets worse. Yes, if the Badgers were to win that game they would likely take on the 1-seed Duke Blue Devils. Can you imagine? Two of the most painful Badger hoop memories in the history brought back up in one weekend?

Big Ten Report

The Big Ten didn’t have a great bowl season at 4-5, but that’s because we’re a basketball conference. Duh. Everyone has always said this. Move on. Despite the poor showing on the gridiron, the Big Ten is killing it on the hardwood with ten teams projected to be in the field of 68.

They’re doing so well that even Rutgers is currently in the big dance!

Illinois is currently sitting in the hunt and is listed in the next four out category. Which means, yeah, some work to do but they’ll get the Badgers on Wednesday night. The Big Ten is so wonky that currently the second highest ranked team in Ohio State is sitting third to last in the conference standings. That to me just doesn’t make sense, but I think it paints a picture of what college basketball has been this entire season.

Biggest surprise?

The biggest surprise to me in the latest release of bracketology is the dominance of the mid-majors in terms of high seeding. As it sits right now, three mid major teams are listed as one and two seeds. Butler and Gonzaga are sitting on the one line, while San Diego State appears as a two. That’s pretty impressive when you consider the fact that most mid majors don’t get the credit they might deserve heading into March. How those teams rise or fall will be really interesting to watch when you consider the fact that a team like Gonzaga shouldn’t lose a game, on paper, the rest of the way out.

Region I’d most to watch?

In Joe Lundari’s latest release the St. Louis section in the East region looks phenomenal. Right now it currently sits with Rutgers and Utah State playing in to take on Wichita State. The winner of that group takes on the winner of Dayton/Stephen F. Austin. How those five teams got together I don’t know, but I would love to see it. Dayton is an incredibly talented team led by Obi Toppin who dominated in the Maui Invitational back in November. Stephen F. Austin took down Duke at Cameron Indoor, and that’s a potential day one match up? Sign me up. Sure I love to watch the blood blues, but those can get boring especially on the first weekend. Give me this cluster all day.

Worst possible Final Four?

Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, and Ohio State. As it currently sits, all four of these teams could make a run without too much getting in their way. Just seeing these four in Atlanta would make me sick.

Best possible Final Four?

Butler, Gonzaga, SDSU, West Virginia. This would actually be kind of chalky as the lowest seed would be a three in West Virginia. However, it would be pretty fun to watch despite it being disastrous for ratings. Oh, the big bad NCAA loses a chunk of cash? The humanity!