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Greg Gard on Badgers playing in NIT: “I haven’t gone down that road”

The Badgers head coach was non-committal on if his team would play in the NIT Tournament.

The Wisconsin Badgers lost in a tough 65-57 game to the Ohio State Buckeyes, eliminating themselves from the Big 10 tournament, with their season likely in question as the team was looking from the outside in heading into the conference postseason.

Wisconsin had seen success against the Buckeyes in the regular season, defeating them in their lone matchup, but was unable to start strong on Wednesday, losing 36-18 at halftime before launching an improbable comeback, which ultimately fell short.

Before the game, head coach Greg Gard reportedly told reporter Andy Katz that he felt Wisconsin’s resume was strong enough to make the NCAA tournament, even with a loss to Ohio State.

However, Gard’s tune changed postgame, as the head coach expressed some uncertainty, but added his team would be prepared for either possibility.

“I don’t know [if the Badgers get into the tournament]. I’m not a bracketologist. You can look around and find differing opinions. If we are, we’ll get ready to go and do that, and if we’re not, we’ve had a lot of opportunities to put ourselves in position.”

Gard had hoped that the Badgers could add to their resume with several wins at the tournament, but now has to live with the result of the disappointing finish.

“So résumé comparison and all that stuff — we wanted to come in here and try to win this thing. That was the goal that we talked about. Then you end up wherever you are after that. So, I said to this group hopefully we have more basketball to play. We’ll find out in due time,” Gard said. “The intent and what we talked about was trying to win here today and move on tomorrow and see if we can stack five together. Whatever that leads to down the road, we live with it.”

Now, will the Badgers entertain an NIT opportunity if they do not make the NCAA tournament? Gard was non-committal to the opportunity.

“I haven’t gone down that road. Really I’ve been focused on this and worried about preparing and helping these guys try to do some damage here.”

The Badgers could use the opportunity to gain more experience for their younger players, providing them with some postseason experience, but it also has been a whirlwind of a season, which is why it would make sense if Wisconsin moves forward to an integral offseason for Greg Gard.