Jon Rothstein, the one person who was happy to see March 2020 repeat for 14 months, reported on Thursday afternoon that the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team will be part of the 2022 Battle 4 Atlantis field.
Sources: Kansas, Tennessee, USC, NC State, Wisconsin, Butler, Dayton, and BYU will headline the 2022 Battle 4 Atlantis.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 27, 2021
This makes Wisconsin’s third trip to the prestigious Thanksgiving week college basketball tournament. In 2014, they bum rushed UAB, Georgetown and Oklahoma in succession to grab their first of many trophies that season. In 2018, the Badgers beat Stanford and Oklahoma before losing to highly ranked Virginia in a game where the box score indicates the exact crime against basketball you’d expect.
Obviously, the matchup you’re hoping to see is Wisconsin take on Kansas at some point in that week. The Jayhawks are a non-ACC blue blood with a ton of recent success, and the Badgers still need revenge for the last time they played in December 1969. USC and Dayton are two other strong programs haven’t matched up against the Badgers in recent years, but don’t have the cache of Kansas that makes me want to go digging through historical schedules again.
The other four participants have probably been written up at Bucky’s Fifth Quarter at some point. Butler knocked the Badgers out of the 2011 NCAA Tournament during their first run to the Final Four under Brad Stevens. Ben Brust hoisted seven threes to beat BYU in a game whose recap says Brust shot well but not “why was there a mini-tournament in a suburb so far from Chicago it’s on the other side of O’Hare.” (Editor’s note: I was AT that game and it was far away from my Chicago apartment.) NC State has been the Badgers Big Ten/ACC Challenge dance partner recently, and the Madison leg of Tennessee’s home-and-home was put in flux due to COVID-19.
While total packages for 2022 aren’t available, if you want to have a Thanksgiving to remember start saving now. Flight, hotel and tickets for one person for three games for the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament is around $4,400, aka about the price of a Bad Boy Mower.