Wisconsin Basketball: Bracketology Projections 3.0

MADISON, WISCONSIN - MARCH 01: Aleem Ford #2 of the Wisconsin Badgers dunks the ball in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Kohl Center on March 01, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MADISON, WISCONSIN - MARCH 01: Aleem Ford #2 of the Wisconsin Badgers dunks the ball in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Kohl Center on March 01, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

With just a week left in the Big Ten regular season, it’s time to take our third look at bracketology predictions for the Wisconsin Basketball team. How have recent events changed the experts’ perception of the team?

The last time we took a look at the Wisconsin Basketball team’s postseason chances, they had just hit a pivotal stretch in the season, which included the loss of Kobe King and two Big Ten losses before an emotional win over Michigan State. Experts had the Badgers in the tournament, but it remained to be seen just how the team would respond to the adversity.

Boy, what a difference a month has made. Since that update, the Badgers dropped a road contest to Minnesota before winning their next six in a row. That included a road win at then No. 19 Michigan, as well as “revenge” wins at home against Purdue, Rutgers, and Minnesota, all of which the Badgers originally lost to on the road.

The Badgers now find themselves ranked No. 24 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls and at 12-6 in conference play, they could jump into a tie for first in the Big Ten with a win tonight against Northwestern. Their NET ranking has nudged up just a little bit to 27 and their win over Michigan gave them their eighth Quad 1 win on the season, fourth-best in the nation.

With that kind of current winning streak, it would be no surprise that Wisconsin has improved their seeding in most experts’ projections. But just how high they’ve jumped in some of them may still be a bit unexpected.

Busting Brackets – FanSided

Our partners at Busting Brackets have elevated the Badgers to a No. 6 seed out of the East, up from No. 8 in our previous roundup. There, they are projected to play the No. 11 Texas Tech Red Raiders out of the Big 12. Texas Tech sits third in their conference with a 9-8 record and 18-12 overall but they have lost their last three in a row.

Joe Lunardi – ESPN

Lunardi, who has pretty consistently been high on the Badgers, originally had Wisconsin as a No. 5 seed in the South on his most recent update, playing the No. 12 Ivy League-leading Yale Bulldogs. But later Monday evening, Lunardi elevated the Badgers even further.

The Badgers haven’t earned that high of a seed since their infamous 2014-15 season where they were a No. 1 seed and lost in the National Championship game to the Duke Blue Devils.

Jerry Palm – CBS Sports

Palm has the Badgers back as a No. 6 seed in the Midwest region, playing the No. 11 Providence Friars out of the Big East. The Friars have jumped back into the tournament picture on the back of a four-game winning streak. That has bumped them up to fourth in the conference with a 10-6 record, 17-12 overall.

Dave Ommen – NBC Sports

Another projection, another No. 6 seed in the Midwest region for Wisconsin. Ommen’s bracket has the Badgers matching up against the No. 11 UCLA Bruins out of the Pac-12. The Bruins actually lead their conference with a 12-5 record and are on a seven-game win streak. But despite their six Quad 1 wins, they have a NET ranking of just 75.

Andy Katz – NCAA.com

Katz’s latest prediction mirrors Lunardi’s original placement for the Badgers pretty closely except when it comes to the region. Katz placed Wisconsin as a No. 5 seed in the West and playing No. 11 Yale. As previously mentioned, the Bulldogs lead the Ivy League with a 10-2 record and are 22-6 overall. They are currently on a four-game win streak.

Tim Krueger – Stadium

Would it surprise you to hear that another bracket has the Badgers projected as a No. 6 seed? Krueger matches Ommen’s prediction of the No. 6 Badgers playing No. 11 UCLA, just in the South region instead. It’s worth noting that none of the brackets that have Wisconsin as a No. 5 or No. 6 seed have them playing the winner of a play-in game.

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Team Rankings

The Team Rankings bracketology site has finally started to give the Badgers their due, with their algorithm now projecting Wisconsin to be a No. 6 seed and finishing with a 20-11 overall record. Meaning, they would split their final two games. They list potential No. 11 seeds as being Michigan, Illinois, Alabama, or Texas Tech. Since there are no conference rematches in the first round, that would leave just Alabama and Texas Tech as possible opponents for the Badgers.