Of Course Wisconsin Will Make the Tourney

Bleacher Report Senior Analyst IFebruary 20, 2009

A few weeks back many Badgers fans, us included, started getting a little nervous about whether or not the Badgers were going to make the NCAA tournament this season. It would be another embarrassing season in a year that hasn't gone very well for the University of Wisconsin athletic department (at least in the sports people actually care about). You couldn't really blame anyone for overreacting, as the Badgers were in the midst of a six-game losing streak.

The date was February 5th. The Badgers had not won a game since they dismantled Northwestern nearly one month prior. Wisconsin was just coming off their sixth straight loss, when Northwestern was able to exact their revenge. Noticing the symmetry in their schedule, the Badgers realized that if they went on a long losing streak after a win to Northwestern, why not go on a long winning streak after a loss?

A winning streak is exactly what Wisconsin has been able to do, knocking off Illinois, Penn State, Iowa, Ohio State, and finally Indiana on Thursday night. Now, had the Badgers been unable to beat the Tom Crean and the Hoosiers, who came into the game 1-11 in the Big Ten, then maybe things wouldn't be looking so good for Bucky. But they cruised to an easy 68-51 victory over Indiana, lead by 21 points from Trevon Hughes.

On a side note, I realized why the Badgers have started winning games all of a sudden: I haven't been watching them. Every time they play lately I'm either working or Lost is on, so I don't get to catch the action. Last night I was going to watch the game, but got sucked into the slot machines at a bar. I only mention this because I am quite possibly the biggest curse of all time, so this little winning streak of the Badgers is not surprising to me at all. Once I get close to them again, they will crumble. It's a terrible life to lead, and I apologize for all the agony I've caused fans throughout the years because I've rooted for their team.

But that's an issue for another day. The Badgers have four games left in the Big Ten, and if they are going to extend their winning streak they are going to have to do it against Michigan State, currently the No. five team in the country with a 20-5 clip. The game will be broadcast this Sunday, 2 pm, on ESPN. I'll be at the Wave game, so once again I won't be able to watch this one. So at least the Badgers have that going for them.

After that, it's games against Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana. They aren't going to lose the Indiana game, so the worst they can finish is 17-13 with a .500 conference record. They'll get in with that, no problem. I see them, now recharged for a playoff run, going 3-1 the rest of the way. That should give them a good 7 or 8 seed in the tournament. Currently, most predictions have them as a 9 or 10.

And I'd rather see them predicted as a 10 seed in the NCAA tournament than see them predicted to host a home game in the NIT.