Five Reasons Why Wisconsin Will Win The West Region

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Five Reasons Why Wisconsin Will Win The West Region

Five Reasons Why Wisconsin Will Win The West Region
David Banks - USATODAY Sports

The old adage during the NCAA Tournament is to survive and advance. One team that’s hoping to survive and advance out of the West Region is the 5th seeded Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin has already survived a rugged Big 10 schedule this season, and now the Badgers are focused on advancing in the NCAA Tournament.

Bo Ryan’s Badgers finished tied with Michigan for 4th place in the Big 10 regular season, but advanced to the finals of the conference tournament before falling to Ohio State. They haven’t received the publicity or the acclaim that the other top teams in the Big 10 have gotten this year, but they have played as well as any team in their conference and have their fair share of wins against the league’s top teams.

Wisconsin is an experienced team that is well coached and plays good team basketball. They rarely beat themselves, which will give them at least a chance to win every tournament game they play in. Upon getting the 5 seed in the West, Wisconsin has become a trendy sleeper pick to make a deep run if they can survive their first round matchup with SEC Tournament Champion Ole Miss, who will definitely be a challenge to get past.

The Badgers should be a little weary of the Rebels, who have a lot of momentum coming off their upset of Florida in the SEC championship game. However, if Wisconsin is able to survive that first game, there’s no telling what could happen. Here are five reasons why Wisconsin will win the West Region and advance to the Final Four:

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They Are Battle Tested

They Are Battle Tested
David Banks - USATODAY Sports

Exactly half of Wisconsin’s games this year have come against teams in this year’s tournament field. Against tournament teams, the Badgers hold a winning record at 9-8, which isn’t a great record, but it means they’ve played a lot of quality teams, playing the six other Big 10 teams in the tournament at least twice. Wisconsin has become accustomed to playing in tight games and has a 2-1 record in games that have gone to overtime. Any situation that comes up in the NCAA Tournament, the Badgers should be ready for.

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They Have Tournament Experience

They Have Tournament Experience
David Banks - USATODAY Sports

Wisconsin is led by a group of upperclassmen that have been to the Sweet 16 each of the past two seasons. That gives the Badgers more NCAA Tournament experience than most of the teams in the field. Wisconsin will also be fueled by the bitterness of losing to Syracuse in last year’s Sweet 16, a game they feel they should have been able to win after making 14 3-pointers against the vaunted Syracuse 2-3 zone. The Badgers have the experience and the desire to advance even further than the Sweet 16 this year.

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Bo Ryan

Bo Ryan
David Banks - USATODAY Sports

Ryan isn’t the most high profile coach in the tournament, and he’s far from the most charismatic, but he does have a good track record in the tournament. Wisconsin has been to the tournament in all 12 years under Ryan, and only once have the Badgers lost in the first round. Ryan knows how to take things one game at a time and get his team to the later rounds; and at this point, he could be due for a trip to the Final Four.

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They Finished The Season Strong

They Finished The Season Strong
Mike Carter - USATODAY Sports

The Badgers looked real good in the Big 10 tournament, taking down Michigan and Indiana on back-to-back days before coming up short against Ohio State. Those wins over Michigan and Indiana were fairly convincing and were done with a pretty comfortable point cushion; it wasn’t as if they made a few lucky shots towards the end while their opponent missed their free throws. Winning those games is a good indication of how Wisconsin will fair on a neutral court, and if they can play in the NCAA Tournament the way they played in the Big 10 tournament, they’ll be a tough team to beat for anybody in their region.

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The West Is Wide Open

The West Is Wide Open
David Banks - USATODAY Sports

The Badgers were sent to a region that could become known for wild upsets. If Wisconsin can avoid a 12 over 5 upset, their chances are as good as anyone to win the region and get to Atlanta. The teams in the West Region seeded ahead of Wisconsin all have tough second round matchups, so if the Badgers can reach a third straight Sweet 16, they could end up being one of the favorites to get to the Final Four. The West could get crazy, and Wisconsin may just be the team that can survive it and advance.

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