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Bucky’s Fan Favorite Tournament: round of 32 (Midwest Region)

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The round of 32 takes us back to the Midwest Region, as March Madness heats up.

Nebraska v Wisconsin Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

With COVID-19 crushing everyone’s March Madness vibe, we at B5Q crafted our own tournament to determine which basketball player from the past 20 years was the biggest fan favorite.

After the first round of votes have been cast, there seems to be some serious odd love pouring in for some of the current players, as presumptive favorites such as Michael Flowers, Mike Wilkinson, and Ben Brust fell.

WAIT WTF, FRANK THE TANK?!?!?!!!? March Madness has taken a very different turn...

For the second round, we will continue to split the voting into regions. We at B5Q will briefly breakdown each matchup, and it is up to you the fans to vote and ultimately decide who moves on, and who is eliminated.

To kick things off, we turn our attention to the Midwest Region. Check out each pairing below, and vote for your favorite.

Second round matchups in the Midwest Region.

The voting window closes at midnight, Sunday, March 29, so get those votes in quick.

Check out the complete round of 32 bracket Bucky's Fan Favorite Tournament Bracket.pdf.


(1) Ethan Happ vs. (8) Mike Bruesewitz

Maryland v Wisconsin
Ethan Happ claps his way into the history books.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Ethan Happ is one of the more decorated players in program history. The do it all forward was a force in the post, and was a very versatile playmaker for Wisconsin.

For his career he averaged 15.3 points per game, 8.8 rebounds, and three assists per game. Happ finished his time at UW ranking third in points scored, first in rebounds, third in assists, first in blocks, second in steals, and first in field goals made in program history.

Happ was a three-time first-team All-American and is one of only six players in NCAA history to record over 2000 points, 1000 rebounds, 400 assists.

Big Ten Basketball Tournament - Championship - Wisconsin v Ohio State
Mike Bruesewitz grabs the hustle play.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The eight seed Mike Bruesewitz was a household favorite because of his flowing red locks, and the immense hustle that he played with.

Part of some good teams, Bruesewitz was an integral part in the rotation, and was a solid defender. For his career he averaged 4.6 points per game, four rebounds, and just over one assist per game.

Poll

(1) Ethan Happ or (8) Mike Bruesewitz?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (1) Ethan Happ
    (271 votes)
  • 24%
    (8) Mike Bruesewitz
    (89 votes)
360 votes total Vote Now

(12) Aleem Ford vs. (4) Sharif Chambliss

Aleem Ford drains the three-pointer.
Dan Sanger

After upsetting Michael Flowers (and a good chunk of the B5Q readership), Aleem Ford moved on to the second round. The first current player in the round of 32 is a stretch-four who can hit from deep.

The 6-foot-8 forward was a consistent starter last season, and his steadily improving his game.

For his career, Ford has averaged 5.9 points per game, three rebounds, and just under an assist per game.

Sporting News College Basketball Collection
Sharif Chambliss talks with head coach Bo Ryan.
Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

A Racine native, Sharif Chambliss only played for Wisconsin for one season after transferring from Penn State.

The 6-foot guard was the starting shooting guard on the 2005 Elite Eight team, and averaged 7.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game.

Chambliss would later become the video coordinator for his alma mater, before pursuing a coaching career. He is currently an assistant coach at Wright State.

Poll

(12) Aleem Ford or (4) Sharif Chambliss?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    (12) Aleem Ford
    (190 votes)
  • 46%
    (4) Sharif Chambliss
    (168 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

(6) Freddie Owens vs. (3) Nigel Hayes

2004 NCAA 2nd Round: Wisconsin v Pittsburgh
Freddie Owens drives into the lane.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A Milwaukee native, shooting guard Freddie Owens was a two year starter that was along for the transition from Dick Bennett to Brad Soderberg, and eventually Bo Ryan.

An offensive slasher, the left handed Owens averaged 7.2 points per game, two rebounds, and one assist per game in his career while playing alongside Devin Harris.

Owens is best known for his game winning shot in the second round to advance Wisconsin past Tulsa in 2003. He is now an assistant coach for the Loyola Hounds, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Minnesota v Wisconsin
Nigel Hayes waves to the fans as he checks out of the game.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

One of the better forwards in program history, Nigel Hayes was a four year impact player for Wisconsin.

Part of the back-to-back Final Four runs, Hayes was an integral part of the teams success from 2013 to 2017.

Hayes won the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year award in 2014, before becoming a full-time starter for the following three seasons in Madison.

A smart and funny presence off the court, Hayes earned All-Conference honors each season on campus, averaging 12.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in his career.

Poll

(6) Freddie Owens or (3) Nigel Hayes?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (6) Freddie Owens
    (21 votes)
  • 94%
    (3) Nigel Hayes
    (343 votes)
364 votes total Vote Now

(10) Brad Davison vs. (2) Sam Dekker

Brad Davison grapples for the loose ball.
Dan Sanger

Brad Davison is the second current player in the Midwest region. A three year starter, Davison is poised to start all four seasons at Wisconsin under Greg Gard.

As a freshman Davison was the talk of the town, as he carried the team amid a dislocated shoulder injury, and his propensity to draw charges.

His ability to draw charges has carried on, as Davison is the heartbeat of the team with his hustle. For his career, the junior guard has averaged 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on a per game basis.

Big Ten Tournament: Purdue vs. Wisconsin
Sam Dekker hangs on the rim after a big dunk.
Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The two seed, Sam Dekker was a springy 6-foot-9 forward who played a pivotal role all three seasons while at Wisconsin before leaving early for the NBA after helping lead the team to back-to-back Final Fours and a championship game berth.

Dekker was a Freshman All-Big Ten performer before eventually becoming a two-time second team All-Big Ten player his final two seasons on campus. He played his best basketball late in his career, as he won the 2015 NCAA West Region’s Most Outstanding Player award as a junior in the NCAA Tournament.

During that tournament he had 23 points and 10 rebounds against North Carolina, and then scored 27 points against Arizona the following game.

Poll

(10) Brad Davison or (2) Sam Dekker?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    (10) Brad Davison
    (34 votes)
  • 90%
    (2) Sam Dekker
    (329 votes)
363 votes total Vote Now