Despite the odds stacked against them this season, if the Wisconsin Basketball team can win their final two games they will claim a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.
Somehow. Some way. The Wisconsin Basketball team is just one win away from being tied for first place at the top of the Big Ten standings.
Even just a month ago, this didn’t seem at all possible and at that time there was no guarantee that the Badgers were going to even make the NCAA Tournament. So how did we get here?
Well, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, to say the least. This is a Badgers team that lost 3 of 4 games before conference play even began, they went through long stretches where scoring seemed almost impossible. They’ve been bullied on the road by conference opponents Michigan State, Purdue, and Minnesota. Not to mention that their second-leading scorer at the time, Kobe King, unexpectedly decided to transfer midseason.
Yet despite all of that, this team with only eight scholarship players has shown grit, toughness, and in recent weeks we’ve seen all of their key players come through in big moments.
At home, Wisconsin would avenge their early-season losses to Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota, and Rutgers. And their recent win over Michigan was their fifth against a top-25 ranked team and their eighth against a quad-1 opponent, which is the fourth most in all of college basketball.
And during their current six-game winning streak, we’ve seen D’Mitrik Trice play arguably the best basketball of his career, Brad Davison tied the school’s 3-point record against Nebraska, and Aleem Ford had a career night against Purdue. On top of that, Micah Potter has been an excellent addition, Brevin Pritlz has stepped up at the end of games with a big shot or an offensive rebound, and Nate Reuvers continues to lead the team in scoring.
It’s truly been a team effort and as a result, if Wisconsin wins their final two games of the Big Ten regular season, they will claim, at worst, a share of the regular-season title for the first time since 2015. And on top of that, a win against Northwestern on Wednesday night and the Badgers clinch the crucial double-bye in the Big Ten tournament.
Below is how the Big Ten standings currently shake out:
Illinois’ final two games certainly won’t be easy as they face Ohio State and Iowa. Meanwhile, Michigan State will be up against Ohio State and Maryland will face Michigan at home.
Of the four teams vying for first place, Wisconsin with their two remaining games against Northwestern at home and a road trip to Indiana, have the easiest path to winning out as those are games that they should be able to win. However, the keyword is “should” and as we’ve seen so far this season, nothing comes easy in the Big Ten.
But as we take into consideration all of the adversity and the ups and downs that this team has gone up against this year, for Wisconsin Basketball to be in the position that they are currently in is truly remarkable. They’re ranked No. 24 in the country, they are the five or six seed in many bracket projections, and now they have a chance at claiming a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.