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Wisconsin Basketball Bracketology Guide: March 4th



Wisconsin Basketball head coach Greg Gard

Even though Wisconsin basketball is not playing today, this will be one of the most consequential days between now and Selection Sunday to decide the Badgers’ March Madness fate. 13 teams on the NCAA Tournament Bubble are playing today. Fortunately for fans of the Cardinal and White, Badger Notes has a brief, but comprehensive, guide to today’s action.

Will Wisconsin Basketball Make the NCAA Tournament?

Bracketologists are split on Wisconsin’s potential tournament fate. As of publication, 54 of the 97 predictions on Bracket Matrix have the Badgers in the field of 68. Needless to say, UW needs the bubble to break its way. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Wisconsin as the second-to-last team in the tournament as of this morning. CBS’s Jerry Palm’s bracketology has UW as the first team out.

The Badgers did get some help yesterday. New Mexico, the only bubble team in action on Friday, lost its regular season finale at Colorado State.

March Madness Bubble Teams Playing Today

There are ten games featuring bubble teams today. If you want to know what to watch, when the games are, and where to watch them, today’s guide has you covered from the early afternoon to the late evening.

West Virginia Mountaineers vs Kansas State Wildcats – 1:00 PM CST on ESPN+

While West Virginia is in the tournament field for now, Lunardi and Palm both have the Mountaineers as one of the last teams avoiding a trip to the First Four. Kansas State defeated West Virginia in the first matchup between these two teams in Manhattan, KS 82-76.

Auburn Tigers vs Tennessee Volunteers – 1:00 PM on ESPN

Auburn is also narrowly avoiding a trip to Dayton right now. The Tigers had an opportunity to secure a key victory at Alabama earlier this week but blew a 17-point lead before losing in overtime. Auburn will try to get that resume-defining victory again today. The Volunteers squeaked by the Tigers in a 46-43 rock fight one month ago to the date.

Oregon Ducks vs Stanford Cardinal – 3:00 PM on CBS

Oregon is not in the NCAA Tournament picture yet, but Badger fans would prefer it stay that way. Lunardi currently has Oregon as the eighth team out of the field. A Quad 3 loss to Stanford, which would be the Ducks’ third Quad 3 loss, would likely end Oregon’s chances at an at-large berth. Oregon is looking to avenge its earlier 71-64 loss to Stanford.

Nevada Wolf Pack vs UNLV Runnin’ Rebels – 4:00 PM on Mountain West Network

In order for Nevada to make the Tournament for the first time since head coach Eric Musselman departed for Arkansas, it must defeat UNLV this afternoon. The Wolf Pack is trying to complete an undefeated season at home while avoiding a season sweep at the hands of their in-state rival. UNLV won the first matchup between these two teams 68-62.

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Tech Red Raiders – 5:00 PM on ESPN2

Oklahoma State is just on the outside looking in of the field of 68 right now. Palm has the Cowboys as the second team out, while Lunardi has them as the fifth team out of the tournament. Because almost every team in the Big 12 tournament will be a Quad 1 win opportunity, losing tonight would not end Oklahoma State’s at-large chances. However, a win in Lubbock, TX tonight would give the Cowboys their sixth Quad 1 win and the season sweep over Texas Tech (71-68).

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils – 5:30 PM on ESPN

Wisconsin basketball fans will hate me for writing this, but you need to be Duke fans today. Despite having only one Quad 1 win, North Carolina appears to be knocking on the doorstep of the NCAA Tournament. A win over Duke might be enough to secure UNC’s spot in the Big Dance. In their first matchup with the Tar Heels this season, the Blue Devils pulled away late for a 63-57 victory.

Clemson Tigers vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish – 7:00 PM on ACC Network

Clemson’s bad losses this season will be its demise if it fails to go dancing in March. The Tigers have suffered two Quad 3 and two Quad 4 losses this season. That Quad 4 loss number would grow to three if Clemson loses tonight, ending its chance of an at-large NCAA Tournament berth.

NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Three Potential Elimination Games Today

There are three games today pitting a bubble team against another bubble team. In each game, one team can potentially eliminate the other from at-large bid contention.

Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores – 7:30 PM on SEC Network

Mississippi State has been flirting with the bubble for much of the season. On the other hand, Vanderbilt is a team on the rise after defeating Kentucky on the road 68-66 earlier this week. Lunardi and Palm both have the Bulldogs as one of the last four teams in the tournament.

Boise State Broncos at Utah State Aggies – 8:00 PM on Mountain West Network

Mountain West conference fans will be on the edge of their seats come selection Sunday. Depending on how the bubble shakes out, this conference could get anywhere from one to four teams in the NCAA Tournament. For now, Boise State is in the field, but Utah State could take the Broncos’ spot with a win tonight. Boise State won the first game between these two teams 82-59 in Boise.

Arizona State Sun Devils at USC Trojans – 10:00 PM on FS1

Finally, Arizona State travels to USC in a game with monstrous NCAA Tournament implications. The Sun Devils currently appear in 53 of the 83 projected tournament fields at Bracket Matrix, while USC is narrowly avoiding a trip to Dayton. The Sun Devils have been trying to get on the right side of the bubble since suffering a Quad 4 loss at Texas Southern back in November. The Trojans, similarly, opened the season with a Quad 4 loss to FGCU. USC won the first matchup between these two teams in Tempe, AZ, 77-69. Wisconsin basketball fans will remember that the Badgers defeated USC in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Thanksgiving weekend.

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Wisconsin Basketball: Jordan Davis Enters the Transfer Portal



Wisconsin basketball

Jordan Davis has entered his name into the transfer portal

According to a report from Verbal Commits, Wisconsin basketball guard Jordan Davis has entered the transfer portal.

The news comes shortly after Wisconsin’s loss in the NIT semifinals to North Texas after a brutal second half. Davis saw 11 minutes of action in the loss without scoring a point.

The 2022-23 season was a rocky one for Davis. The LaCrosse native was a starter early in the season before losing his spot to budding true freshman Connor Essegian. After that, he was a good option off the bench who could get a few baskets per game while hitting the boards hard.

Davis averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game this season while shooting nearly 40% from the floor. He averaged 21 minutes per game, a considerable jump from his 6.5 minutes in 2022. Davis carved out a role for himself as a high-intensity player who played with grit.

The 6-foot-4 200-pound guard will look for a better option to reach his full potential. Davis’ decision to transfer isn’t too shocking, considering he lost a starting spot and saw a dip in production as the season ended. Although things didn’t work out in Madison, a change of scenery could be what he needs.

Davis wasn’t a highly recruited player out of high school, but after putting some solid tape out there in his time at UW, he should garner some attention in the portal.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin basketball news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Jake Maier on Twitter. @JakeJMaier.

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Wisconsin Basketball: 2022-2023 Player Grades



Wisconsin basketball

If you watched the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team at all during the 2022-2023 season, it wouldn’t be a reach to say you may have grown a grey hair or twelve in the process.

Close game after close game, blown leads, head-scratching calls, and unwatchable scoring droughts. It’s not hard to summarize the season it was for Wisconsin basketball.

But it wasn’t always like watching an elementary school orchestra play their first concert. A lot of Badgers made major strides and big plays in important moments. Here are my player grades for the 2022-2023 Wisconsin basketball rotation.

2022-2023 Wisconsin Basketball Grades – Starters

Tyler Wahl: C+

I was super high on Wahl entering the year. I honestly thought he’d have a huge senior season, improve his jumper, and compete for a Big Ten conference honor. Boy was I wrong.

Wahl battled a nagging injury for a good chunk of the season, but his inability to make easy layups and convert at the free-throw line killed any hopes of making a run to the big dance.

Chucky Hepburn: B-

It was a tale of two Chucky’s this season. The sophomore point guard was either unconscious from the field or a borderline “bricklayer”. Hepburn battled an undisclosed lower-body injury down the stretch, which probably played a part. But nonetheless, his season was a bust.

Hepburn never became the go-to scorer Wisconsin Basketball had hoped for. However, on a team that struggled to find scoring, Hepburn was consistently followed by the opposing team’s best defender. I wouldn’t go as far to say he regressed, but his growth seemed to be rather limited while in his large role. Hepburn needs some more help around him to thrive.

Steven Crowl: A-

“Big Steve” really grew up this season which earned him an A-. The junior center was thrust into a go-to scorer role when Hepburn was struggling mid-way through the year and Wahl was out with his injury. I’d be lying if I said he didn’t impress with his scoring and passing ability — especially during his 30-plus point effort against Bradley. Big things remain ahead for Crowl.

Max Klesmit: B

Klesmit turned out to be the biggest surprise of the season for UW. He played a major role offensively and was the team’s best perimeter defender. When he missed time with an injury, the Badgers defensive efficiency dropped. The Neenah native grew into a major role player this season, and I’d say the sky is the limit for him next year as he continues to gain confidence.

Connor Essegian: B+

It seemed to be a tale of two seasons within a season for the Freshman shooting guard. Essegian impressed fans, coaches, and teammates with his natural shooting and scoring abilities beginning in non-conference play, and into Big 10 play. His breakout 17-point game against Kansas, in a near-upset, garnered attention nationally and eventually pushed him into a starting spot which he never lost. However, Essegian hit a freshman wall as Big 10 play came to a close and it continued into the NIT. Without this drop-off, Essegian would’ve had an easy A.


2022-2023 Wisconsin Basketball Grades – Reserves

Jordan Davis: D+

Davis lost his starting spot midway through the season to Essegian after struggling to consistently hit shots and make an impact on the offensive end. At times Davis showed grit and gave the team a spark off the bench with threes or hustle plays, but outside of these small windows he really disappointed. The junior guard only reached double figures in scoring three times. If Davis can improve his jumper and confidence, he could be a great bench piece for Wisconsin basketball next season.

Carter Gilmore: C

If there was an award for the player who showed the highest motor with stats that don’t show up on paper, Gilmore would have won it this season. The former walk-on was put in a tough position at 6’7″ to play power forward or even center at times when Crowl or Wahl were on the bench. Gilmore is a solid athlete, who at times was great on the glass and on the defensive end, but his offensive limitations continue to hold him back. You know teams don’t see you as a threat offensively when their defenders can sag into the paint and not worry about you pulling the trigger. I’m interested to see what happens with Gilmore moving forward.

Kamari McGee: C

The Racine native played an integral role in the rotation down the stretch for UW, but his struggles to settle in early on in the season were definitely noticeable. Although he didn’t show a ton as a scorer or as a defender at times — the promise he showed down the stretch and into the NIT was worthy of a C. McGee showed spurts as a ball handler and as a “three and D” type of role player which gives me hope he can grow his role next season.

Markus Ilver: D-

I don’t really have much to say regarding Ilver, other than it became apparent that he was NOT afraid to shoot the ball immediately after getting into a game. He lacked on defense and rebounding most of the time, but his three-point touch and quick release show some promise.

Isaac Lindsey: C-

Lindsey showed off his ability to create and hit shots down the stretch in his limited minutes. His best outing came when he closed the first half against Purdue with eight points, singlehandedly keeping UW in the game. It’s apparent Lindsey must struggle too much defensively and as a consistent ball handler to get consistent minutes. I’ll give him a C- for his hot shooting when he did get into games.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Trent Tetzlaff on Twitter @ttetz5.

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Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting: 2019 Wisconsin Mr. Basketball Enters Transfer Portal



Wisconsin basketball head coach Greg Gard must find added depth in the transfer portal

After a disappointing finish to the season, Wisconsin basketball head coach Greg Gard is tasked with improving his roster in the transfer portal. The Badgers lacked depth this season, particularly in the frontcourt. One of the latest players to enter the portal may be a great fit for UW.

Wisconsin Native Marcus Domask Enters Transfer Portal

Marcus Domask announced via Twitter that he is entering the transfer portal. The Waupun native spent four seasons at Southern Illinois and consistently performed as a top forward in the Missouri Valley Conference. The former three-star recruit earned All-MVC Second Team honors in 2020 and 2022 and was named to the First Team this season. Domask started the first ten games of the 2021 season before suffering a season-ending foot injury.

Wisconsin’s 2019 Mr. Basketball averaged 16.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 0.4 steals per game this season for the Salukis – leading his team in each category. The six-foot-six-inch, 215-pound forward can score from all three levels. He is able to score from the inside and get to the foul line. Domask shot 87.6% from the charity stripe this season – Connor Essegian and Markus Ilver were the only players on the Wisconsin basketball roster with a better FT% than Domask’s mark this season. Ilver, however, only had two attempts. The MVC star can shoot from long range too. Domask has a 35.9% three-point percentage on 4.3 attempts per game.

Wisconsin basketball did not offer Domask a scholarship out of high school, but will likely inquire about his interest in returning closer to home now. The former WIAA State Champion for Waupun High School will have one year of eligibility remaining. He is also pursuing the NBA Draft, but will retain his collegiate eligibility.

RELATED: Wisconsin Basketball Starter Enters Transfer Portal

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Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Kedrick Stumbris on Twitter @KedrickStumbris.

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