The Wisconsin Badgers beat the Northwestern Wildcats 69-41 last night at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois to stay afloat in the Big Ten title race. The win propelled the Badgers to third place in the conference (10-4) and only one game behind second place the Michigan State Spartans (11-3).
Wisconsin wasn’t picked among many to even finish in the top five this season in the final conference standings let alone contend for the title. The Badgers have wins over every conference team but the Spartans but get their chance for payback on the 49-47 defeat to them in the Kohl Center from January 22nd on March 7th.
If the chips fall their way, the Badgers could finish second and get that elusive first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.
Wisconsin has home games against Nebraska and Purdue and travels to Penn State in the season finale sandwiching that game in East Lansing, Michigan against the Spartans. That’s a very favorable schedule.
The Badgers should go no worse than 3-1 in the final four game stretch and finish no worse than 13-5 in conference play if not 14-4 at best case. That could leave them in prime position for a top five seed in the NCAA Tournament come March and maybe propel them to the second weekend of the tournament.
The Badgers are winner’s of five of their last six games including three of those on the road mixed in with two wins at home against highly ranked opponents. They’re definitely going in the right direction at this point of the season and could be a very scary team to play in both postseason tournaments next month.