As both men’s and women’s basketball reach the home stretch of their respective seasons, it’s time to look at both teams’ chances of reaching postseason play.
For both teams, 2023 has been marked as a year of growing pains. Both teams came into the 2023 season with a plethora of fresh new faces hoping to find consistency for two rosters.
On the women’s side of the ball, coach Marisa Moseley looked to see major improvements to a roster that had only won 8 games the year prior. While the team saw remarkable growth, thanks to the new young core of Serah Williams and Maty Wilke, they are currently in need of a miracle to make the Big Dance.
As for the men, a hot start to the season had the Badgers looking to repeat last season’s success. Instead, this year’s team struggled mightily since this early success. With injuries and poor shooting playing a major role in the Badger’s second half struggles, they currently sit on the bubble of the NCAA tournament.
With both teams’ postseason play currently up in the air, let’s take a look at both teams’ paths to postseason glory.
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Greg Gard’s group
The Badgers’ season has been fluid. They secured big wins against Marquette and USC early which boosted their playoff resume. The Badgers peaked at No. 14 on the AP poll in January and looked ready to return to the Big Dance for a 5th consecutive year.
Unfortunately, the Badgers hot start was quelled by an injury to star forward Tyler Wahl in January. Since then, the Badgers have posted a 5-10 record, sinking them from postseason contender to bubble watch.
The Badgers dropped a pair of big games late in the season as well. They lost to Rutgers and suffered a heartbreaking loss to Michigan in overtime, a team that also currently sits on the tournament bubble.
While a win against Purdue would help the Badger’s quest of returning to the NCAA tournament, it likely won’t be enough to solidify a spot in the tournament. The Badgers will need to make up for lost ground in next week’s Big Ten tournament, where they are currently projected as the 11th seed.
But the team has prevailed before and will hopefully be able to be a play-in team in this year’s tournament.
If UW fails to meet the requirements for March Madness, they will surely receive an invite to the National Invitational Tournament in Las Vegas.
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Marisa Moseley’s squad
With the Wisconsin women’s team posting yet another sub .500 record this season, they are in need of a miracle to make the NCAA tournament.
Their current path to the NCAA tournament is incredibly slim. They would need to win the Big Ten tournament to secure a spot in the Big Dance. With the Badgers going just 6-12 in conference play this season, the task is daunting. But after winning three straight games against Big Ten opponents to close out their season, including a major upset against No. 12 Michigan, the Badgers may just be peaking at the right time.
Similar to the men’s team, the Badgers’ path to postseason play starts with a must-win game against Purdue to open the Women’s Big 10 Tournament, a team they lost to by double digits in their first meeting.
Unfortunately for Moseley’s squad, their chances at making the NIT are equally as slim. A poor showing in the Big Ten tournament will almost certainly mark the end of their season. While this season was marked by major improvements, including a 7-7 home record, the Badgers will almost certainly need a semifinal appearance in the Big Ten tournament to garner any consideration for the postseason.
Despite the murky futures for this year’s college basketball postseason, both Wisconsin teams have all the building blocks to return to tournament glory in the near future.