Wisconsin Badgers react to NCAA Tournament selection show
Bronson Koenig scored 17 points including three late 3-pointers as the Badgers knocked off Villanova, 65-62.Image By: Katie Scheidt
WASHINGTON—Less than an hour after losing to Michigan in the Big Ten Championship game, No. 24 Wisconsin (12-6 Big Ten, 25-9 overall) learned it would be playing Virginia Tech (10-8 ACC, 22-10 overall) in Buffalo on Thursday.
While many bracketologists projected the Badgers to be either 5-seed, 6-seed or 7-seed in the NCAA tournament, Wisconsin is instead an 8-seed and if they advance past Virginia Tech they would very likely face the tournament’s number one overall seed, Villanova.
“It is what it is,” senior forward Nigel Hayes said. “We are who we are, and we have to play who we have to play. Nothing you can do about it that’s what I’ve tried to say. You just worry about ourselves and make corrections from this game that we need to do.”
Neither Hayes nor redshirt senior guard Zak Showalter has seen much of the Hokies this season. Head coach Greg Gard said he plans on watching Virginia Tech tape on the flight home from Washington, D.C.
“If we play our ball and adhere to the scouting report that we’re gonna get we should be good,” Hayes said.
Wisconsin is a lower seed than Purdue, Maryland, Minnesota and Michigan. And it is on the same seed line as Northwestern, a team that the Badgers beat by 28 points Saturday afternoon.
“There’s a lot of stuff that I can’t control,” Showalter said. “I just go out and play basketball and hopefully the rest takes care of itself. But we’ll have a chip on our shoulder definitely going into this week and I think that’s when we’ll play our best basketball.”
If the Badgers do advance past the first weekend, there are plenty of other notable opponents they could face. Virginia, Florida, Baylor and Duke have all beaten some of the top teams in the country and would provide Wisconsin with a stiff test.
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