Friday, March 15, 2013

Badgers Find A Way To Win | Will They Make It To The Tournament?

Badgers 2013 NCAA tournament
As the Badgers entered Big Ten Conference play in January, there were serious doubts as to whether this team would play in any sort of postseason tournament, much less the NCAA tournament, They had a pedestrian 9-4 record, with no notable wins. What made it worse was that the only four teams that were any good that the Badgers had played at that point- Florida, Creighton, Virginia, and Marquette, they lost, three of them by double digits.

Badgers Dig Themselves Out

All of a sudden though, and seemingly out of nowhere, the Badgers sprung to life. They opened up conference play with a couple of so-so wins against Penn State and Nebraska. It was on January 12th that they stunned America when they jack-hammered then 12th ranked Illinois by 23 at home. They followed that up with five point win against Indiana that basically righted all of their wrongs the first two months of the season. Since then the Badgers have put together a nice resume, one that is deserving of an NCAA tournament bid. While others might point to defense, or even specifically in this case, rebounding, as the Badgers rebounding has improved the last couple of months, it was at this point though that something else began to happen that might better explain the success of these Badgers this season. They began to get lucky. Very, very lucky.

Yes they beat Indiana by five. However, The Hoosiers shot just 37% that night. The shots were there, they just didn't fall. Two weeks later they escaped the Gophers by one point, and needed Minnesota to miss shots, much like Indiana had done 11 days before. Wisconsin then beat Iowa by four in double overtime, and then beat Michigan by three in overtime just three days later. Yes they did beat Ohio State by 22 after that, but that doesn't discount the close wins. Honestly, I don't know what the answer is right now. Is this team actually good, such as the games against Illinois and Ohio State would suggest, or are they just plain lucky?