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Wisconsin Basketball Bracketology Guide: March 3rd



Wisconsin Badgers basketball

Wisconsin basketball battled for 40 minutes with Big Ten champion Purdue last night. Despite the effort, the Badgers (16-13, 8-11 B1G) fell 63-61. A win likely would have secured Wisconsin’s spot in the NCAA Tournament. Instead, Wisconsin will need at least two more wins to get to the Big Dance.

Will Wisconsin Basketball Make the NCAA Tournament?

Wisconsin is flirting with needing to make history to receive an at-large bid to March Madness. Only two teams with 15 losses have ever qualified for the NCAA Tournament as at-larges (Alabama in 2018 and Vanderbilt in 2017). If UW loses its regular-season finale at Minnesota and fails to win the Big Ten Tournament, the Badgers would finish the season with 15 losses.

As of today, only 45 of 75 bracketologists on Bracket Matrix have Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament field. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has UW as the second-to-last team in. In order to improve their odds of making the Tournament, the Badgers undoubtedly want other bubble teams to struggle down the stretch.

NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Wisconsin Basketball

Although Wisconsin basketball’s loss last night hurt its NCAA Tournament chances, it did get help from other teams. Nearly every other team on the bubble lost last night:

  • Rutgers suffered a disastrous 75-74 loss at Minnesota last night. Minnesota’s Jamison Battle hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to cap off a comeback after Rutgers led by 10 points with only 1:05 remaining. It is Rutgers’ fourth Quadrant 3 loss.
  • Michigan allowed Illinois to go on a 7-0 run to close the first overtime period in an eventual double-overtime 91-87 loss to the Illini. The Wolverines missed potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation and at the end of the first overtime period.
  • Arizona State suffered a blowout loss to UCLA 79-61. Only 44 of 75 predictors on Bracket Matrix now have the Sun Devils in the NCAA Tournament field.
  • Memphis was the only bubble team to win last night. The Tigers soundly defeated the SMU Mustangs 81-62.
  • USC lost to Arizona 87-81 last night in a game that never felt that close. Arizona led by as many as 16 points in the second half, while USC never cut the deficit to any fewer than five.

NCAA Tournament Bracketology: Bubble Teams Playing Today

Wisconsin is not playing today, but fans should keep their eyes on one other game tonight. Stay tuned to Badger Notes for our continuing Wisconsin basketball bracketology series because there are several bubble teams playing in key matchups this weekend.

New Mexico Lobos at Colorado State Rams – 10:00 PM on FS1

New Mexico’s chances of receiving an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament have faded quickly. A loss to Colorado State tonight would eliminate those chances. Although the Lobos are currently on the outside looking in, a win tonight plus a deep run in the Mountain West tournament could put them under consideration. New Mexico started the season 14-0 but has gone only 7-9 since. New Mexico defeated Colorado State earlier in the season, 88-69.

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Kedrick Stumbris covers Wisconsin football, basketball, hockey, and volleyball. He received his B.A. with economics and political science majors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018 and has had his work published on Bleacher Report and Verbal Commits.