Less than a week ago, the Wisconsin Badgers were flying high as they clinched a share of the Big Ten Title. All they needed to do was to beat Big Ten bottom feeders Nebraska and they’d win it outright.
Well, things didn't go to plan as the Badgers struggled early, came back, and then fell apart to drop a massively disappointing contest. To add to that, Johnny Davis went down with a lower-body injury which sent Badger fans spiraling. Thankfully, Davis has been reported to be dealing with only an ankle sprain, which would allow us all to stop holding our breath.
Hearing Johnny Davis has suffered a right ankle sprain. #Badgers fans can take a breath.— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) March 6, 2022
However, the brutal loss still counts against Wisconsin’s resume, Davis playing or not, so the question now becomes how much damage did that loss do? Well, it could be better and it could be worse. Let’s take a look at the latest updates as we get ready for conference tournament play.
Remember last week when we slandered Joe Lunardi and praised Jerry Palm? Well, today we flip that. According to Lunardi Wisconsin still sits as a 2-seed in his latest update from Monday morning. They would be projected to take on 15-seeded Long Beach State University. The winner of the game would take on the 7/10 winner between Colorado State and Wake Forest.
It’s clear that Lunardi is likely taking the absence of Davis into account and not hurting the Badgers too much for their end-of-season loss. What a nice guy! However, Lunardi does list Wisconsin as the lowest ranking two seed so a couple of wins at the Big Ten tournament would really help keep the Badgers in their current position.
Now we turn to CBS Sports Bracketologist Jerry Palm who previously had Wisconsin as a 2-seed. Unfortunately, for the Badgers Palm dropped Wisconsin to the 3-seed line in his latest update. Palm also projects that the Badgers would take on Long Beach State, so that could be a team to watch this week in the Big West Tournament if you’re looking to scout. The winner of this matchup would take on the winner of the 6/11 game between Loyola Chicago and Colorado State. The Rams seem to be near Wisconsin in every projection, so that is another team to keep an eye on.
Wisconsin currently sits in a good spot as does the rest of the Big Ten overall. According to Lunardi the Big Ten currently has eight teams in the dance, and Palm has them projected with seven. However, a few of those teams are firmly on the bubble. In Lunardi’s projections, Michigan is one of the last four teams with a bye, and Rutgers is one of the last four teams in. Indiana is currently one of the first four out.
Jerry Palm agrees with Indiana being out, and currently has Michigan and Rutgers as two of the last four teams in. With Indiana and Michigan playing Thursday morning in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament you’ve like got a scenario where the winner makes the NCAA tournament and the loser misses out.
Gotta love March baby!