Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Wisconsin Badgers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, 57 percent of Wisconsin fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That is down from 86 percent last week and a full 100 percent at the start of the year.
Overall, the dip is not all that surprising given the unreal expectations to start the season from Badgers fans. To start at 100% fan confidence is hard to live up to, but down to 57% is also a bit concerning. The next two games are critical to fan confidence as they have a chance to string together three straight wins with back to back contests against Penn State.
With conference tournaments quickly approaching, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there may be issues with teams battling COVID-19 outbreaks. Conferences will be bringing together teams to one location all at once making it much easier for an outbreak to spread from team to team. But fans don’t appear ready to give up on conference tournaments for the second year in a row.
According to a national vote, 86 percent of fans want to find a way to proceed with the tournament. Roughly half of that group, 42 percent of everyone who responded, said conferences should make adjustments to the tournament to make it safer. Like changing the format or timing of how it is played. Only 14 percent of fans said conference tournaments should be canceled entirely.
Overall, those numbers come as a bit of a surprise. I, for one, am 100% for canceling conference tournaments across the board. Look. I never want to deny any of you college basketball but the chances of outbreaks could really hinder a team's chance of getting to the NCAA Tournament or, God forbid, cause the NCAA to pull the plug a second year in a row.
Let’s say the Big 12 gathers in Kansas City and a team has a COVID outbreak. You could have teams like Baylor, Texas, Kansas and Texas Tech all putting their national title hopes in limbo for a meaningless conference tournament. They are always a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone wants two years without the Big Dance.
Conference tournaments typically allow teams that have struggled through the year one last chance to reach the NCAA Tournament. This year, some of those struggling teams were among the teams ranked at the top of polls to start the year.
Some teams that may need the conference tournament are usually ones that are top seeds in the dance. Teams like Kentucky, Duke, and Michigan State are all currently out of the NCAA tournament projections. Fans were asked which of those teams has been most disappointing so far. At only 5-10 on the season, the Kentucky Wildcats earned 46 percent of the vote. They were followed by fellow blue-blood Duke with 37 percent and Michigan State at 13 percent.
Again, you hate to see these programs struggle. You really do. I feel so bad for them.
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