The Big Ten regular season has come and gone with three teams clinching a share of the title in Wisconsin, Michigan State and Maryland. Each team had highs and lows during the season which made the race that much more exciting. Now the Big Ten tournament is set, and the Badgers will be the tournament’s top seed. They’ll take on the winner of Michigan/Rutgers on Friday afternoon.
Heading into that Friday afternoon contest Wisconsin sits in a favorable position as it pertains to the NCAA tournament. In Joe Lunardi’s bracketology the Badgers remain a 4-seed in the Midwest Region. They would take on the 13-seed New Mexico State Aggies in Spokane, Washington. The winner of that contest would take on the winner of the 5/12 match up between Yale and BYU. Wow, what a cluster that would be.
Lunardi’s bracket is a favorable spot for the Badgers, but the same cannot be said for Jerry Palm’s latest bracket update. In Palm’s latest release the Badgers are slated as a 5-seed in the Midwest region. In that game they would take on East Tennessee State as the 12-seed. The winner of that would take on the winner of Kentucky/Vermont.
In SB Nation’s latest release the Badgers sit in the same spot as Lunardi, taking on New Mexico State as the 4/13 match up. The winner in that bracket would take on the the winner of Butler/Liberty in the second round.
Personally, I believe Lunardi’s matchup would be the most favorable at this point. New Mexico State, BYU and Yale are all very beatable teams to advance to the second weekend. The same cannot be said for Palm’s bracket. I want no part of East Tennessee and a second round date with Kentucky doesn’t sound very appetizing either. SB Nation’s bracket is somewhere in the middle, but the Liberty Flames are a dangerous team as well.
How the Badgers can improve their stock will be an interesting story line to watch over the course of the Big Ten tournament. I believe they are firmly on the 4 or 5 line, but a run in the tournament could move some things around and get the Badgers to a different region, although the Midwest looks to be a good one right now. An early loss could drop the Badgers, but may also lead to a more favorable match up. With so many top teams in the Big Ten. the tournament should shake up bracket’s over the course of the next week.