Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Badgers a sneaky pick out West?
By Luke Lapinski
It's tough to say Wisconsin is overlooked at this point. After all, the Badgers have made the Big Dance every single year since 1999 -- and they've won at least one tourney game in all but three of those appearances. Still, as the No. 5 seed in a region that contains the No. 1 team in the most recent AP Top 25, they're far from a favorite to reach the Final Four.
That said, they have enough pieces to be an intriguing sleeper pick. At 23-11, they more than survived the rigors of the Big Ten. And they ousted Indiana and Michigan twice -- while knocking off Ohio State once as well -- so it's not as if they haven't proven they can win against elite competition. Jared Berggren, Ryan Evans, Sam Dekker and Mike Bruesewitz make up a solid frontcourt, while Ben Brust has shown a knack for knocking down game-altering perimeter shots. And, perhaps most importantly, they have their typical stout defense to lean on -- one that keeps them in essentially every game and landed Wisconsin at No. 3 overall in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com.