Only now it's March. One of those on Thursday night, between the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers and the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies, looks like it'll be a good game.
The Badgers will hope that their stars can return to form and help carry them over the Hokies. To boot, if UW defeats Virginia Tech, top-ranked Villanova nearly certainly awaits them in a second round matchup that would be played Saturday.
"They're like a Big Ten version of Virginia, being that they play slower than most teams,"Allen said".
Wisconsin's identity is quite different than Virginia Tech's. Hughes is 16th on the all-time Badger scoring list, and is one of three players in Badger history to score 1,300 points, grab 300 rebounds, and dish out 250 assists. The Wisconsin Badgers are -5.5 over Virginia Tech. They have no go-to offensive star nor a player projected to be taken in the NBA Draft. Virginia Tech is in the NCAA field for the first time since 2007. "It's really neat", Williams said. "I don't know if we have a simple answer, and I don't know if one answer will suffice".
"I don't think it's overblown at all", Williams said of Wisconsin's edge in experience. Over the course of a three-game stretch that included the regular-season finale against Minnesota and games against IN and Northwestern IN the Big Ten tournament, the Badgers were good at making sharp cuts off the ball and using rim runs to gave Happ and Hayes passing options.
Bronson Koenig leads the team with 14.1 points per game while Ethan Happ averages 13.9 points per game. While he was No. 6 in the ACC in true shooting percentage a year ago, he doesn't come close to cracking the top 20 this season. The Badgers were 0-2 against the Wolverines this season, including a 71-56 loss in the Big Ten tournament title game Sunday.
"Every team is bigger than us", LeDay said.
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OUR PREDICTION: The Hokies are 7-1-1 against the spread in their last nine games versus a team with a winning record and have cashed in four of their last five games when they're playing at a neutral site as an underdog. Allen asked as he and forward Zach LeDay left the podium.
The Hokies enter the tournament at 22-10.
While moving around outside the team hotel has been a chore this week because of the snow, Tech has been able to tour the Buffalo Bills' facility, but has otherwise passed the time with practices, Netflix and team bonding. The Hokies are new to this, while their opponents are as experienced as a tournament team can be.
Did you know? The Badgers have won more tournament games over the past three years (11) than any other program and are the only team to reach the Sweet 16 in each of those seasons.
The trajectory at Virginia Tech has fans plenty excited.
Just like snow throughout the winter months in both Madison and Buffalo, that's something the Badgers are used to.
"As of right now, I'm just trying not to think about it too much since I'm here", Iverson said. "And I think it's really paid off for us". The University of Virginia, seeded fifth in the East, faces 12th-seeded North Carolina-Wilmington in Orlando.