NCAA Basketball Countdown: #9 Wisconsin Badgers

Our composite poll ranked Wisconsin at number 9 to start the season, as Greg Gard and company enter one of their most anticipated seasons in years as they look to get back to being a national contender.

2019-2020 Record: 21-10

National Championship Odds: +2000

Big Ten Championship Odds: +350

Key Returners

Nate Reuvers: 13.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.9 BPG

Micah Potter: 10.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG

D’Mitrik Trice: 9.8 PPG, 4.2 APG, 4.0 RPG

Brad Davison: 9.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.9 APG

Alex Ford: 8.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.1 APG

Key Newcomers

Ben Carlson: 4 Star Power Forward

Johnny Davis: 3 Star Shooting Guard

Lorne Bowman: 3 Star Combo Guard

Steven Crowl: 3 Star Center

Jordan Davis: 4 Star Small Forward

Upcoming Games

11/25Eastern IllinoisTBA
12/4@ MarquetteTBA
Full Schedule TBA

Season Preview

The Badgers start off the season in the top tier of a loaded Big Ten, and bring back lots of talent from their group that finished atop the league last season. Every player in what will be their opening night lineup made a start last season and they only lose one key player from that team. Greg Gard brings back 78.5% of his minutes from last season, good for the #40 ranking in the nation in that category, and that is not just experience, its TONS of experience. The starting five will likely be made up of entirely seniors, and will probably play an overwhelming majority of the minutes throughout the season.

They have tons of size, with both leading scorers returning standing at least 6’10 and Reuvers potentially being the next man up in a long line of outstanding Wisconsin bigs, and experienced guards who can not only get them good looks, but create for themselves as well. Pair that with a top-20 defensive efficiency rating, and a pace in the bottom 15 in the nation, this is a team that is going to choke teams to death slowly and painfully, through grit and doing the little things.

This team ended the shortened 2020 season on an 8 game win streak by doing just that, holding teams below 60 points 3 times during that stretch, and only allowing more than 70 points twice on the streak. The Big Ten is loaded as per usual, but with experience and a difficult style of play to crack, its not out of the question to see the Badgers atop the conference and making a deep NCAA Tournament run once again.

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