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Sunday, December 03, 2023

Men's Basketball: UW given No. 2 seed, set to play American University Thursday

To reach the national championship in Arlington, Texas, the Badgers (13-7 Big Ten, 27-7 overall) will get to stay close to home, but would then head out far West.

Wisconsin drew a No. 2 seed in the West Regional on Selection Sunday.

Wisconsin’s first weekend site will be the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, where it will take on No. 15 seed American University from Washington, D.C., and with a win, the victor between No. 7 Oregon and No. 10 BYU.

The rest of the top-four seeds in the West Regional are No. 1 Arizona, No. 3 Creighton and No. 4 San Diego State.

Should they advance past Milwaukee, the Badgers will play in Anaheim, Calif.

Wisconsin played potential Sweet-Sixteen opponent Creighton last year, losing 84-74 with now-senior forward Doug McDermott scoring 30 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Since then, McDermott has been arguably the best player in the country, a unanimous All-American and clear frontrunner for the Player of the Year awards.

Despite losing in the Pac-12 tournament final to UCLA, Arizona was widely expected to be a No. 1 seed and had been ranked first overall in the AP rankings for seven weeks. The Wildcats’ lineup includes Pac-12 Player of the Year junior guard Nick Johnson and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Aaron Gordon. They are led by Pac-12 Coach of the Year Sean Miller.

San Diego State has undergone a revival under head coach Steve Fisher, starting the season 21-1, with its lone loss to Arizona. The Aztecs lost to New Mexico in the Mountain West tournament final.

Six Big Ten teams were selected for the tournament: Wisconsin, No. 2 seed Michigan, No. 4 seed Michigan State, No. 6 seed Ohio State, No. 11 seed Nebraska and No. 11 seed Iowa (who has to play in one of four first-round games).

The Badgers will open the NCAA tournament Thursday in Milwaukee at 11:40 a.m.

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