Bracket Bits: Badgers climb back into Field
You have to give Wisconsin credit. Left on the curb after early losses to Western Illinois and Milwaukee, and the departure of longtime coach Bo Ryan, the Badgers have found a way to navigate some additional bumps and bruises on their way to seven straight wins and an 8-4 mark in Big Ten play. In the past three weeks, Wisconsin has toppled Michigan State, Indiana, and now Maryland, the last of those Saturday in impressive fashion on the road. Given the current landscape, it was enough to boost the Badgers back in the Field of 68. We’ll see if they have enough left in the tank to stay.
On the flip side, Gonzaga and Wichita State have seen their respective at-large profiles fall into further question. With Fred VanVleet back, the Shockers were rolling through the Missouri Valley and distancing themselves from early losses without him. That was before losing at Illinois State and then at home to Northern Iowa. And while neither of those is a horrible miscue, the Shockers profile now has a couple of dings it didn’t need. Will a home win over Utah be enough to carry the Shockers if they lose in the MVC tourney? As for Gonzaga, the Bulldogs missed a golden opportunity to beat SMU and add a nice non-conference victory to an otherwise iffy resume. The Zags best wins are Connecticut (November) and bubbly Washington. A 2-6 mark vs. Top 100 teams could be problematic. Of Gonzaga’s 19 DI wins, 14 are against teams currently ranked 150 or below in the RPI.
This morning, there are questions – to varying degrees – about teams seeded 23 and below on the seed list. A new bracket is coming tomorrow. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day.