Hey look Ma we made it. We have arrived at the last bracketology update of the season because this time next week we’ll have a real live bracket and we can stop the speculation. As of today, despite the struggles or successes, we’re onto a new season. Everybody is 0-0 which brings on the beauty of March.
For the Badgers, a clean slate to start anew is exactly what this team needs. The regular season was a struggle but now all they can hope to do is survive and advance. That being said let’s take a look at where the Badgers and others line up as we head into conference tournament weekend.
Last week the Badgers were a 6-seed in Joe Lunardi’s release and a 7-seed in Jerry Palm’s and Andy Katz’s brackets. This week it hasn’t gotten any better for the Badgers as they head to the Big Ten tournament. According to Joe Lunardi the Badgers are currently a 7-seed in region 3. Wisconsin would take on 10-seed UCLA in the opening round and if they were to win they would take on the winner of the 2/15 matchup between Houston and Bryant. Andy Katz has Wisconsin in the same 7/10 spot, but slated to take on 10-seed LSU instead of UCLA.
In Jerry Palm’s latest release the Badgers sit as a 9-seed and would take on 8-seeded Oklahoma in the first round. If they were to advance they would take on top-seeded Gonzaga. It’s probably safe to assume that we’d all prefer to see Lunardi and Katz’s projections come true rather than Jerry Palm’s, right? Orrrrr would rather just beat Oklahoma and then shock the world? It’s happened before....
Big Ten Report
Heading into the Big Ten tournament a lot of the top seeds are pretty safe where they are at. Illinois and Michigan both currently sit as one seeds and I cannot see either of them moving off that line even with an early loss. Illinois especially is a lock for a top seed. They come into the Big Ten tournament off of three straight road wins over ranked teams which sealed their fate (Editor’s note: in a good way!) in my estimation. Michigan may be a bit more vulnerable as they come in off a loss to Michigan State, but I still don’t see them moving off that top line.
Iowa and Ohio State currently sit as two seeds and I think they are probably firm in their positions as well. Even if the Hawkeyes or Buckeyes win the entire tournament they have losses to Michigan, so I don’t see that being enough to jump them with the number of losses each team has.
After the top four Purdue comes in as a 4-seed and Wisconsin behind them in the 7-seed spot in Lunardi’s bracket. After that comes Maryland and Rutgers who are both slated as 10-seeds as it sits right now. All of those teams could move up, but they’ll have to win a couple of games this weekend to do so.
With those eight teams firmly in the Dance, the attention now turns to Michigan State. Sparty picked up a huge win over Michigan this past weekend which put them into the tournament as an 11-seed. As it sits right now all brackets have Michigan State in the Dance as anywhere from a 9 to 11 seed. It appears the Spartans are in right now but a win or two in Indianapolis would really seal their fate. We’ve seen Tom Izzo do it before, and I would not be surprised to see it again.