Each and every year March Madness comes rolling along, there seems to be three elite teams who are a lock for a number one seed and a separate group of teams who make it extra hard for the committee to choose a fourth number one seed.
This year the Wisconsin Badgers have entered the fold of those separate group of teams and are battling for the fourth and final top seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
What exactly needs to happen for them to gain elite status in this year’s tournament?
2014′s Contenders: Louisville (26-5), Wisconsin (25-6), Virginia (25-6), Villanova (28-3), Duke (24-7), Kansas (23-8), Michigan (23-7), Syracuse (27-4)
Those are the teams welcomed to the party and as you can see they all come from major conferences. For this reason, the committee will have no choice but to utilize the upcoming conference tournaments to make a decision on the final number one seed. Here’s where the teams are slated in their respective conference tournaments:
(AAC) #2 Louisville will play winner of #7 Rutgers/#10 USF
(ACC) #1 Virginia will play winner of #8 Florida St./#9 Maryland
#2 Syracuse will play winner of #7 NC State & either #10 Miami/#15 Virginia Tech
#3 Duke will play winner of #6 Clemson & either #11 Georgia Tech/#14 Boston College
(B10) #1 Michigan will play winner of #8 Indiana/#9 Illinois
#2 Wisconsin will play winner of #7 Minnesota/#10 Penn State
(B12) #1 Kansas will play winner of #8 Oklahoma St./#9 Texas Tech
(BE) #1 Villanova will play winner of #8 Seton Hall/#9 Butler
The ACC and B10 have the most contenders for the last number one seed. For this reason, I think if a team from the ACC wins their conference tournament, it would be quite difficult to make a case against that team. The Big Ten is already at a disadvantage because the tournament doesn’t conclude until after the selection committee has already made a decision on the number one seed.
The teams that appear to have the easiest road to winning their conference tournament is Louisville or Villanova. Of those two teams, I think Villanova has a much better case to win the number one seed because they have a much better strength of schedule when compared to the Cardinals.
A lot of Badgers fans, including myself, were speculating whether Wisconsin deserved a number one seed prior to them losing at Nebraska. When examining the situation now, I’m not so sure the result of that game matters much in the committee’s decision.
Wisconsin put together an “A+” non-conference resume, a “B” conference resume and now have to hope for a lot of teams to be upset to achieve an “A” conference tournament grade that will elevate them to the one seed. As I see it, the Badgers need all three ACC teams to be upset and Kansas/Louisville/Villanova to all lose in their respective tournaments. Not only do they need those sequence of events, it would be beneficial for them to not see Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game.
So, what the Badgers need is a lot of March Madness …
Do you see any other way the Wisconsin Badgers can earn a number one seed? Please let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Pictures obtained from chicago.cbs.local.com and uwbadgers.comFollow paulmbanks