The Wisconsin Badgers didn't exactly set the world on fire the last time they took the court, scoring only 33 points in a loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament. They hope to have a slightly larger measure of success this evening when they play their first game of the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Belmont Bruins, the champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Because of their previous performance, a lot of people have picked the Bruins to pull an upset over the Badgers tonight. However, the folks at SB Nation's Wisconsin blog, Bucky's 5th Quarter, seem to like their chances in this one.
For the Badgers, the scouting game plan put together by Greg Gard will help, but this is really just put up or shut up time. This is about attitude and execution. A coaching staff can only do so much in that regard.
Having Mike Bruesewitz will help, as he was playing pretty well against Penn State before his knee injury. He gives Wisconsin another physical post defender to work into the mix, so Leuer and Keaton Nankivil are not alone. The team needs his energy. If the Badgers can win those battles inside, it will allow Taylor and company to get more aggressive on the perimeter.
In the end, we know Wisconsin can get as hot as any other team in the country. The Badgers have to shoot well and at least one of the supporting characters must be a participant in that good shooting. Though Tim Jarmusz has gone M.I.A. (and scoreless) in the past two games, he will be needed to on the court to take care of the ball. He has to be aggressive offensively.
The Southeast Region is there for the taking and Wisconsin should seize the day.
I'd get the perspective from SB Nation's Belmont blog, but we haven't got one of those. . .and there don't appear to be a whole lot of them anywhere on the internet.
Tip-off for this one will be at 6:27 PM Central time, and the game will be televised on TruTV, Channel 246 on your DirecTV box or on some other channel for your other cable or satellite providers.