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Déjà vu: or Why Wisconsin Fans Should Be Optimistic

It gets better from here, Wisconsin fans. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
It gets better from here, Wisconsin fans. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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It seems like every expert has picked 4 seed Wisconsin to lose to 13 seed Belmont, and Badger fans don't seem inclined to disagree with them. The small sample of Wisconsin fan comments that I have seen tend towards the negative. This comment was left at Bucky's 5th Quarter upon seeing the draw (and is not an uncommon one):

Belmont is an awful draw for Bucky.

Looks like a first round exit in 2011.
by ThroughBeingCool

I am here to talk some of the Badger fans off the ledge. I have seen this play out before, and it turned out just fine. I am talking about the Purdue - Siena first round matchup from last year, which I was reminded of as soon as the analysts starting talking up Belmont's chances during the selection shows.

There are many parallels between the Wisconsin - Belmont matchup and the 2010 Purdue - Siena game.

  • Popular upset pick: Belmont over Wisconsin is a popular choice, as Siena over Purdue was last year. It seemed like everyone including the president (probably after hearing every expert on the selections show do it) picked Siena.
  • It is a 4 vs 13 game, with the Big Ten teams having the 4 seed.
  • Purdue had an atrocious game in the Big Ten Tournament, managing to score only 11 points in the first half against Minnesota. While Wisconsin didn't get beat by 27 like the Boilers did, losing 36-33 to Penn State is pretty awful.
  • Siena lost one conference game in 2010; Belmont lost one conference game this year. Last year Siena was 0-5 against top 50 RPI teams; this year Belmont was 0-3.
  • Playing out west: Boilers in Spokane, Badgers in Tucson.

And how did the Purdue - Siena game turn out?

Pretty good for the Big Ten team, and pretty bad for the experts' favorite upset pick.