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Wisconsin Basketball Straddling Seed-Line in Latest Bracketology



Wisconsin Badgers basketball head coach Greg Gard
Mar 17, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard talks with the media during a practice day before the first round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin basketball will learn its NCAA Tournament fate in just one week. Although back-to-back losses to Indiana and Illinois hurt the Badgers, UW’s bracketology projection remains strong. With a road matchup against Purdue and the Big Ten tournament ahead, Wisconsin has ample opportunity to improve its March Madness stock, too.

Bracketology Experts are Torn on Wisconsin Basketball

Wisconsin Basketball mascot Bucky Badger

Mar 21, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers mascot during practice before the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In the latest update on Bracket Matrix, Wisconsin is a six-seed in the composite bracket. Most projections have Wisconsin as a five or six, but a healthy smattering of sevens from bracketology experts have the Badgers as the top No. 6. The margin, however, is incredibly close. With an average seed of 5.85, Wisconsin is significantly closer to grabbing a five seed than it is to slipping further down the six line. The lowest-rated No. 5, with an average seed of 5.63, is former Badgers assistant Lamont Paris’ South Carolina.

The Badgers could get some help catching Paris’ Gamecocks. South Carolina’s first SEC Tournament game will be against Arkansas or Vanderbilt – two teams under .500. An upset by the Commodores or Razorbacks might be the small knock Wisconsin needs to jump up to the five-line. On the other hand, if the Gamecocks advance to the quarterfinals and defeat Auburn, the Badgers may not get a chance to play themselves up much higher.

How High of a Seed Can Wisconsin Get In the NCAA Tournament?

Wisconsin Badgers basketball forward Tyler Wahl

Mar 8, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Tyler Wahl (5) brings the ball upcourt against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Rather than hoping for help, Wisconsin can play itself up quite high in the projections. The Badgers already boast one of the best resumes in the country. It is easy to get lost in the team’s recent struggles. The games early in the season count just as much, though. The selection committee places no more emphasis on a game played on March 10th than a game played on December 10th. With 12 combined wins in Quad 1 and Quad 2, only seven teams in the country have more high-quality wins.

No team in the country has a chance for a better win remaining on its schedule than Wisconsin. UW’s game at Purdue on Sunday gives Wisconsin a chance to knock off a giant. With 17 combined Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins, arguably no team in the country has a better resume than the Boilermakers. According to the Teamcast at BartTorvik, a win in West Lafayette today would be a seed-line bump for Wisconsin and potentially more.

How Far Can Wisconsin Basketball Fall in Bracketology Projections?

For this late in the college basketball season, I think the Badgers’ range of seeds is still quite vast. Part of that may be because Wisconsin does not yet have a loss outside the first two quadrants. If UW were to take a potential Quad 3 loss to Maryland in the Big Ten tournament, it would be a new, different weight on the resume. One that Wisconsin currently has nothing similar to. That could send the Badgers careening to the 8/9 game.

On the other hand, if Wisconsin can get to Friday in Minneapolis by winning or not playing, six remains the likely floor.

Buckle up. This week might be a rollercoaster.

KEEP READING: The Badgers Must Return to Their Roots to Stop the Skid

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BadgerNotes' resident college basketball sicko, Kedrick Stumbris covers Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball and women's hockey teams unlike anyone else. 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.