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.
With two rounds in the books, we now enter crunch time. It’s the Sweet 16 baby.
For the Sweet 16, we will be dropping two pairings from a singular region each day in separate articles. We at B5Q will state the case for each player, and it is up to you the fans to vote and ultimately decide who moves on and who is eliminated.
First, we turn our attention to the South Region. Just like the first two rounds, the voting window closes at midnight each day, so get those votes in quick.
You can check out the players still vying for the title in the complete bracket...Bucky's Fan Favorite Tournament Bracket.pdf.
The second contest in the South Region Sweet 16 is between excellent dunker and No. 11 seed Khalil Iverson and former McDonald’s All-American and No. 2 seed Brian Butch
The case for Khalil Iverson:
A springy 6-foot-5 small forward, Khalil Iverson never had the outside shot to be a big time scorer, but he had plenty of huge dunks to make up for it.
In addition to his athletic ability, Iverson was a solid defender, earning him All Big Ten Defensive team honors as a senior.
He played four years at Wisconsin from 2015 to 2019, starting every game his junior and senior seasons. For his career he averaged 5.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and an assist per game.
Unlike with Brian Butch below, I don’t have any personal interaction stories with Iverson at the elevator bank of Ogg Hall, but what I do have is memories of Iverson absolutely obliterating people on the basketball court via dunks.
Iverson was an excellent “glue guy” while in Madison. He never scored much but he played above average defense, rebounded “taller” than he is and didn’t play outside of himself. It was always exciting whenever Iverson got the ball with a head of steam towards the basket because you knew something magnificent could happen.
The case for Brian Butch:
A high school Parade All-American, and McDonald All-American as a prep standout from Appleton, Brian Butch played all four seasons at Wisconsin.
A three-year starter, Butch was a prototypical big man for the Badgers from 2004 to 2008, and demonstrated the ability to play inside out as many Wisconsin bigs have done.
For his career, Butch averaged nine points, and 5.4 rebounds per game. After a brief stint in the NBA, he played overseas for a few years before coaching the G-League Wisconsin Herd. He is now a color commentator for various basketball productions in the Midwest area.
Butch is also a part of one of the greatest “what ifs” in Wisconsin basketball history. If he didn’t suffer a dislocated and fractured elbow against Ohio State at the end of February in 2007 how far could the Badgers have gone that season? Entering that game they were 26-3 and if they beat the Buckeyes (who they ended up losing to by one point) they would have been in the driver’s seat for the B1G title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, and probably the NCAA Tournament.
Instead, they lost to OSU in that game, lost to them again in the B1G Tournament title game and flamed out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to a UNLV team led by grad transfer Kevin Kruger’s hot three point shooting. A Sweet 16 matchup with Oregon would’ve been tough, but winnable, and then a powerhouse Florida team would’ve been there in the Elite 8 but still...you always wonder what if.
Butch lived in Ogg Hall East Tower (the superior tower, as everyone knows) with me during his freshman year and I think it is important to note that one time I arrived at the elevator bank after attending class (a rarity!) and he was already standing there, by himself. As I approached I noticed that the up button hadn’t been pushed yet. I stood next to Butch, looked up at him, back at the button, back at him and then slowly reached out to push the button so we could go to our respective rooms.
If I hadn’t of arrived would Butch still be standing there, forlornly waiting for an elevator that was never going to come because he didn’t build up the courage to call it? Reader, I do not know, but I am happy to say I helped him in his time of need.
Another time, on a particularly cold day in Madison, Butch was standing at the elevator bank again and looked at me, who he did not know, and said “shit, could it get any more colder out, I mean damn!” It is something my friends and I still say when it is cold out and for that I would personally like to thank Brian Butch for this gift.
(11) Khalil Iverson or (2) Brian Butch
This poll is closed
(11) Khalil Iverson
(2) Brian Butch