Teeing off with Trent

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team is primed for a deep tournament run in 2014


Story by Trent Tetzlaff, Staff Writer

It has been a rollercoaster ride of a season for the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team, and when I say rollercoaster I don’t mean one of those kiddy rides, I’m talking the full blown raging bull type.

Bo Ryan’s squad started out the season 16-0 and at one point was ranked 3rd in the AP top 25 poll, but dropped as low as 24th during a rough stretch where the team dropped three in a row to big ten opponents.

To begin the year the team was playing lights out basketball. Dominating opponents with defense, and scoring, something you don’t normally see from a Wisconsin team under Bo Ryan. But this team is different.

 Playmakers Sam Dekker, Traevon Jackson, Frank Kaminski, Ben Brust and Nigel Hayes have changed the breed of basketball played at Wisconsin.

A fast paced drive and kick style is what these Badgers feature. Tough man to man defenders are a plenty on this roster and bottom line the team just does not turn the ball over at all, they rank second in turnovers per game in the country with 8.3.

As I mentioned earlier, in the middle part of the season the Badgers hit a rough patch in the middle of big ten play losing five of six due to poor defensive play and poor shooting. However, since that spell of poor play Bucky has won five in a row including wins over ranked opponents in Michigan St., Michigan and Iowa.

Thanks to these big wins the Badgers have moved back into third place in the big ten, and nabbed the 14th ranking in the latest AP college basketball poll.

According to this week’s ESPN’s bracketology which predicts March’s NCAA tournament brackets, analyst Joe Lunardi has the badgers at a number two seed and getting opening round games in Milwaukee which looks oh so favorable for Bucky.

On the other hand, ESPN college basketball analyst Andy Katz has the Badgers receiving a number one seed in the tournament thanks to their impressive resume.

This resume includes wins against the current number one team in the nation Florida, and other ranked opponents such as Virginia, St.Louis, and many big wins in arguably the best college basketball conference in the nation.

After the Badgers sixth win in a row against Indiana on Tuesday they will have a lot to prove as they finish out the rest of the season. With the Badgers final three games being against unranked opponents in Penn St., Purdue and Nebraska they will have to make sure not to lay an egg, but also to show the tournament committee they are deserving of a one or two seed.

To further the resume of this Badger team they also must make a deep run in the conference tournament to show the committee they belong as a top seed, however this will be tough task for Bo Ryan and his team considering how challenging the conference is this season.

I find it disgusting how many years in a row I and many others have penciled the Badgers to go far in the NCAA tournament brackets but have been disappointed in the second or third round, but I think this might truly be the year Badgers fans.