Ever since Bo Ryan became the head coach at Wisconsin back in 2001, the same things have been said about his Badgers teams on a yearly basis. “Oh they are a solid team, but their style will never translate well come tournament time”. “Will this be the year they finally make a deep run in the NCAA tournament?” “Bo Ryan’s system will not allow them to ever get very far in the tournament until his staff starts recruiting better athletes”. These are just some examples of the various statements made about Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers teams. I’ll bet he is as tired of listening to them as we all are of saying them. Well Bo, if you are tired of listening to them, then do something about it. It took over a decade, but for the first time ever, he finally did something about it.
The Wisconsin Badgers will be making their first ever trip to the Final Four this weekend under Bo Ryan when they travel to Dallas along with Connecticut, Kentucky, and Florida. I for one had Connecticut losing in the first round. Oops.
I could sit here for the 48th time and tell you the strengths and weaknesses of this team- strength: best starting five in America, weakness: Absolutely no bench to speak of. But that would be a waste of time as you know that already. I will say this. Yes Wisconsin does deserve credit for making this run, but they also got very, very lucky. They were placed as a two seed in what was by far the weakest of the four regions. The number one in that region, Arizona, was going in reverse towards the end of the season. Yet again on Saturday, they will get lucky. They will get an inconsistent Kentucky team instead of say Wichita State, Louisville, Duke, or Michigan.
Let’s not dwell on that though. Right now, Bo Ryan should enjoy this moment. This moment is pure vindication for a man who has done something he has been told for over a decade he could not do, and for that, I say congratulations, you proved me and everyone else who said that to be wrong. Well done.