Wisconsin basketball avoided elimination from NCAA Tournament contention by narrowly defeating Minnesota yesterday. Even though the Badgers got a much-needed win, the rest of the weekend’s results in college basketball were not so favorable. Wisconsin now finds itself in a very precarious position.
Is Wisconsin Basketball in the NCAA Tournament?
For the first time since it made the tournament field, Wisconsin now finds itself on the outside looking in, according to Bracket Matrix. Only 41 of 76 bracketologists currently have UW in the field, and Wisconsin is now the first team out in Bracket Matrix’s aggregated projection.
Results from other teams around the bubble have not been kind to the Badgers the past few days. Yesterday was nearly a clean sweep of positive results for Wisconsin, but one result, in particular, was costly for UW.
The Maryland Terrapins led the Penn State Nittany Lions by as many as 16 points and had a 12-point lead with six minutes remaining. That lead eventually evaporated as Penn State won 65-64 after a buzzer-beating put-back by Camren Wynter gave the Nittany Lions the lead. It was Wynter’s second game-winning shot this week, earning him Big Ten Player of the Week honors.
Biggest Penn State basketball win in more than a decade. Watch. pic.twitter.com/Zu4JzQMPAG
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) March 5, 2023
Penn State has now won five of its six last games and has a legitimate case for the NCAA Tournament – perhaps at the expense of Wisconsin. According to the Bracket Matrix aggregated projection, Penn State is now the last team in the field.
Wisconsin Basketball NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch
The Badgers obviously have no one to blame but themselves if they fail to make the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin can, however, hope for some results to go its way for a slightly better chance at making the Big Dance. Before UW opens Big Ten Tournament play with its eyes on a deep run, there are a few games that will further shape the NCAA Tournament bubble. Today, there are three conference tournaments that Wisconsin fans will want to ensure no bid thieves emerge.
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. St. Thomas Tommies – Summit League Quarterfinals – 6:00 PM CST on ESPN+
Oral Roberts is close to earning an at-large bid with a 28-4 overall record. It is also the only team in the country that has not taken a conference loss yet this year. It is in the best interest of Badger fans for the Golden Eagles to simply win the Summit League and not have to worry about the Selection Committee awarding Oral Roberts an at-large berth to the NCAAs.
Charleston Cougars vs. Towson Tigers – Colonial Athletic Association Semifinals – 7:30 PM on CBS Sports Network
Although Charleston has taken two conference losses in the CAA, it has amassed an impressive 29 wins overall this season. A two-bid CAA would not be good for Wisconsin’s NCAA Tournament hopes.
West Coast Conference Semifinals – 8:00 PM on ESPN and 10:30 PM on ESPN2
St. Mary’s, playing BYU at 8:00, and Gonzaga, playing San Francisco at 10:30, are the class of the WCC this season. Both teams will likely receive a top-five seed in the NCAA Tournament. If both win tonight, any chance of a bid thief from the WCC would be erased.
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