NCAA College Basketball

Wisconsin Badgers win ESPN’s simulated NCAA tournament


Wisconsin Badgers win ESPN’s simulated NCAA tournament

×

Sign Up Today and Support Local Journalism

Enjoy more articles from Madison’s Most Trusted Information Source. Subscribers can log in for unlimited digital access

Log in Sign up {{featured_button_text}}

{{featured_button_text}}

Big Ten takes bruising battles to conference tournament

Wisconsin forward Micah Potter, right, hugs Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard after defeating Indiana 60-56 in the regular-season finale March 7. While the Badgers and the rest of the NCAA didn’t get to play a national championship tournament, ESPN’s simulated tourney has UW winning the national title.

AJ Mast, Associated Press

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced the NCAA to cancel the men’s basketball national championship tournament and the excitement that March Madness brings each spring.

But that didn’t stop media outlets from using projection models to predict how the NCAA would have gone had it been played.

In ESPN’s single-run model — using the final bracket produced by Joe Lunardi and the company’s Basketball Power Index metric — the University of Wisconsin won its first national championship since 1941.

ESPN’S BPI takes into account the relative strength of the two teams and the location of the game to generate one team’s probability of a win. Then in simulating the tournament, the model rolls a 100-sided die with each team probability of a win representing one side of that die. The winner advances, and the same process repeats for every game.

The Badgers — who were ranked No. 17 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll, released Wednesday — were the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region in Lunardi’s final bracket, matching up with 13-seed North Texas in the first round. 

ESPN’S BPI doesn’t give a score prediction, but in a matchup of two of the slowest teams in terms of offensive pace in the country, UW prevailed.

In the second round, the Badgers ended the run of Liberty, the 12 seed that knocked off fifth-seeded Auburn in the first round.

It was an all-Wisconsin matchup in the Sweet 16, where UW defeated eighth-seeded Marquette. The Golden Eagles beat No. 1 overall seed Kansas in the second round to advance to the second weekend.

UW — who made the Final Four in 2014 and 2015, and lost to Duke in the 2015 title game — punched its ticket to the Final Four with a win over 3 seed Duke, setting up an All-Big Ten semifinal against Maryland, winner of the East Region. The Badgers beat Maryland for the second time this season to earn a spot in the national championship game, where they play West Region six seed BYU.

UW defeats BYU in the championship after entering the tournament with less than a 1% chance of winning the national title.

Before Badgers fans hang any banners — NBC’s model using NCAA Game Sim has the Badgers losing in the first round to North Texas.

Get to know the Wisconsin Badgers’ 2020 basketball scholarship recruits

Tom Oates: Re-live Badgers' run to 2000 Final Four with game-by-game look back at Cinderella journey

It has reached greater heights since 2000 and likely will again, but the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball program will never re-create…

Updates: Madison-area sports teams impacted by changes due to COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

Sports teams in the Madison area have been impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here are the most recent updates.

Badgers commit Johnny Davis earns WBCA's 'Mr. Basketball' honor

Davis, a La Crosse Central senior who averaged 27.2 points per game, is named the top boys high school basketball player in the state by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. 

Former Badgers star Ethan Happ home from Italy, in self-quarantine

While the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has put Ethan Happ’s basketball career on hold, that’s the least of his concerns. “It definitely created a great perspective for me,” he said, “after seeing what I saw in Italy.”

Tom Oates: Badgers men's basketball season showed the power of patience

The Badgers showed us the folly of jumping to conclusions, having knee-jerk overreactions to losses and writing off players and coaches simply because they’re going through a rough stretch, all of which are commonplace in today’s win-now-or-else, social media-dominated world.

Big Ten bans 'organized team activities' until at least April 6

UW student-athletes will have access to sports medicine facilities and staff during ban time, but other facilities in question.

'Wild ending': Badgers men's basketball team's red-hot run cut short as Big Ten, NCAA cancel tournaments

There will be no postseason for the red-hot Badgers, whose 2019-20 campaign ended abruptly Thursday when the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments were canceled due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Red Zone podcast: Badgers pro day, postseasons altered by COVID-19 coronavirus

Wisconsin State Journal beat reporter Colten Bartholomew describes how the rapidly breaking news surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus impacted the University of Wisconsin football pro day, the men’s basketball team, the women’s hockey team and more.

Badgers men's basketball team happy to have time off between games

The Badgers men’s basketball team was ready for a rest after closing the regular season with four games in 10 days.

Wisconsin consumers can get a refund when events are canceled during COVID-19 outbreak

Some types of events are exempt, but for most entertainment and sporting spectacles, the promoter is required to refund the admission price after a cancellation. 

Madison Water Utility pausing late fees during COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

No customers will be disconnected from water, and the Madison Water Utility is freezing late fees to help families who need a financial break during the crisis. 

NCAA flashback: Re-live Wisconsin Badgers' win over Cincinnati in opening round of 1994 tournament

No NCAA tournament in 2020? The State Journal has you covered. Over the next two-plus weeks, we’ll look back at one UW game per round, starting with the Badgers’ win over Cincinnati in the opening round of the 1994 event. 

'One Shining Moment': Badgers men's basketball team shares highlights from pandemic-shortened season

From an emotional start to the season to an emotional finish, the UW men’s basketball program covers it all in a 3-minute “One Shining Moment” video it released Friday afternoon.

Photos: Look back at Wisconsin Badgers' victory over Villanova Wildcats in 2017 NCAA tournament

Over a span of two-plus weeks, the Wisconsin State Journal is looking back at one UW NCAA tournament game per round. Today, it’s the Badgers’ …

NCAA flashback: Re-live Wisconsin Badgers' Sweet 16 victory over LSU in 2000 tournament

No NCAA tournament in 2020? The State Journal has you covered. Over the course of two-plus weeks, we’re looking back at one UW game per round. Today, it’s the Badgers’ 61-48 win over LSU in the 2000 Sweet 16.

Photos: Look back as Wisconsin Badgers celebrate Bo Ryan's first Final Four berth after 2014 win over Arizona

Over a span of two-plus weeks, the Wisconsin State Journal is looking back at one UW NCAA tournament game per round. Today, it’s the Badgers’ …

NCAA flashback: Re-live Wisconsin Badgers' win over Arizona Wildcats in 2014 Elite Eight

No NCAA tournament in 2020? The State Journal has you covered. Over the course of two-plus weeks, we’re looking back at one UW game per round. Today, it’s the Badgers’ 64-63 overtime win over Arizona in the 2014 Elite Eight.

NCAA flashback: Re-live Wisconsin Badgers' win over Kentucky Wildcats in 2015 Final Four

No NCAA tournament in 2020? The State Journal has you covered. Over the course of two-plus weeks, we’re looking back at one UW game per round. Today, it’s the Badgers’ 71-64 win over Kentucky in the 2015 Final Four.

Photos: Look back at Wisconsin Badgers' victory over Kentucky Wildcats in 2015 NCAA Final Four

Take a look back at some of the best images from the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s 71-64 win over the Kentucky Wildcats in t…

NCAA flashback: Re-live Wisconsin Badgers' win over Washington State in 1941 title game

No NCAA tournament in 2020? The State Journal has you covered. Over the past two-plus weeks, we’ve looked back at one UW game per round. Today, the final part of that series, UW’s 39-34 win over Washington State in the 1941 title game.

Big Ten takes bruising battles to conference tournament

Wait is there more to this story

http://CollegeBasketball.gameday.blog