The No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers won against the Virginia Cavaliers 48-38 in a defensive struggle from the beginning. No team scored more than 25 points in a half. Both teams are expected to go to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but both teams shot less than 30 percent from the field. Whether that’s tough defense or poor shot selection depends on whichever team you’re supporting.
Wisconsin is now 9-0 and face a fairly easy remaining non-conference schedule. Their toughest remaining opponents are the Marquette Golden Eagles, who were crushed by fellow Big 10 team the Ohio State Buckeyes, and should be similarly crushed by the Badgers. Going undefeated in non-conference play will give Wisconsin a huge boost when it comes to their confidence going into Big 10 play.
As of now, five teams in the Big 10 are ranked. These teams are Wisconsin, Ohio State, the Michigan State Spartans, the Michigan Wolverines and the Iowa Hawkeyes. On top of that, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Indiana Hoosiers are all teams that look capable of beating highly-touted teams.
All of these teams are capable of winning games against each other and could make the final Big 10 standings very interesting.
Like the SEC last season, lower Big 10 teams could take games from higher Big 10 teams leading to a few teams that started the season highly-ranked missing out on the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin’s strong start to the 2013-14 college basketball season will go a long way in assuring their inclusion in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.