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How many more wins do the Badgers need to go to the NCAA tournament?

The Badgers will need some Big 10 Tournament magic this week.

The Wisconsin Badgers are heading into the Big 10 Tournament as one of the teams on the bubble of cracking the Field of 68 in the NCAA Tournament, setting themselves up for a potential season-saving week amongst their rivals.

The Big 10 has been one of, if not, the strongest conferences in the NCAA this season, as they could potentially send ten teams to March Madness, dependent on the results of this upcoming week.

After being within the last four in of ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s bracket, the Badgers have slid to one of the first four teams out, meaning they must see good success over the week to give themselves a fighting chance at an at-large bid.

That begs the question: how many games do the Badgers have to win to feel good about their NCAA chances?

It absolutely must start with a win on Wednesday against Ohio State in the 12 vs 13-seed matchup, although the game won’t come as easy as the seeding insinuates, with Ohio State proving to be a challenge during their last encounter.

Should the Badgers win, they would move on to play Iowa, the No. 5 seed, whom the Badgers swept this season after a strong defensive effort at home two weeks ago.

In addition to the Ohio State game, the Badgers absolutely must win this game and at least reach Friday if they want to go dancing.

But, the Badgers have one thing in their favor: it’s a fairly-leveled conference where many teams have the chance to win it all.

Wisconsin showcased they could hang with the best in their 63-61 narrow defeat to the Purdue Boilermakers, but they’ve also displayed several times that they can blow leads and lose to average opponents as well.

Nonetheless, Wisconsin needs two conference wins to make the NCAA tournament, with a third win, which would be against the Michigan State Spartans, likely securing them a spot in a tough conference.

The main question is: will two wins be good enough? Or, are three wins necessary?

At the moment, I do feel that Wisconsin has been overrated by the committee, despite its average record, but there are certainly scenarios where two wins could push them into the bracket.

However, given how close the margins are between on-the-bubble teams, Wisconsin should look for three wins at the tournament to ease worries on Selection Sunday.

Can Wisconsin do that though? The Badgers have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the conference, having failed to win consecutive games since January 3rd.

Now, they’ll not only need to win multiple in a row, but the Badgers will have to do it on consecutive days, posing to be their greatest challenge to date during a season full of unexpected behavior.

Overall, Wisconsin could make it in with two wins, but three wins provide likely closure in securing the Badgers an at-large bid to the tournament.