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2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Wisconsin Takes On Butler For Elite Eight Berth

The Big Ten only has two teams that are still playing meaningful basketball, and one of them will be taking the floor in about an hour and a half, as the Wisconsin Badgers, the Southeast Region's fourth seed, take on the surprising Butler Bulldogs for the right to move on to the Elite Eight.

Butler got here by beating Old Dominion on a last-second shot, and then taking out the Pittsburgh Panthers on a crazy closing sequence. Wisconsin beat the upstart Belmont Bruins in the first round, and then knocking off Kansas State to advance to the Sweet 16.

At SB Nation's Badgers blog, Bucky's 5th Quarter, they know what this game could potentially mean to the school's post-season reputation.

What's incredible when you look at UW's recent postseason history is how much help the Badgers have received in the NCAA Tournament. Of the 16 NCAA Tournament games Wisconsin has played since 2005, only four of them have been against higher-seeded teams and only one of them was against a one, two, or three seed.

Unfortunately, other than 2005, the Badgers haven't been able to take advantage of that help too often. In 2008, Davidson's upset over Georgetown gave UW an easier path to the Elite Eight, but Stephen Curry shut that road down by dropping 33 points on the Badgers in Detroit in a 73-56 laugher.

And last season, Cornell's upset over Temple in the first round gave Wisconsin an easier path to the Sweet 16, but the Big Red then blitzed the Badgers in an 87-69 beatdown in Jacksonville.

You could almost argue it would have been better if No. 1 Pittsburgh hadn't lost to Butler last weekend. I kid, but honestly, this year's tournament has set up a similar hurdle that UW hasn't been able to clear in the past.

If the Badgers want to change their recent postseason reputation a win over the Bulldogs would go a long way.

Tip-off for this one will take place at 8:45 Central time, and you'll be able to see the action on TBS. Check your local listings for details, or turn your DirecTV box to Channel 247.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.