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Long Shots?

Seventeen years. No, that’s not how long it took me to earn my degree. That’s the number of years in a row the Wisconsin men’s basketball team has made the NCAA tournament. The last time they missed the madness of March was when crimped hair was a thing and Céline Dion was Miss Thing.

Brian Klatt
February 09, 2016
Badger fans watching the Final Four championship game.

But the Badgers are in jeopardy of not being invited to the Big Dance for the first time since 1998. However, their six-game winning streak (as of this writing) now has the team sitting squarely on the bubble. They’re bubble boys!

Beyond continuing to win games though, are there any ways for last year’s National Championship runner-up to make this season’s tournament? We crunched the numbers. We scoured the bylaws. We watched the movie Hoosiers over-and-over until our eyes bled. What we came up with were ten ideas crazy enough that they just might work:

  1. Include Wisconsin as a write-in vote on your bracket.
  2. Expand the tourney to include 136 teams.
  3. Alter the schedule so Wisconsin’s last nine games are only against Rutgers and Minnesota.
  4. If nothing else, get Nigel in the National Spelling Bee.
  5. Get Bucky to hold Dick Vitale in an undisclosed location until the NCAA invites Wisconsin.
  6. Use our one-time “automatic bid pass” that only back-to-back Final Four teams get.
  7. Bring back Mike Bruesewitz … he won’t help the team make the tournament, but his mop-top hair is delightful.
  8. Invite an opening round team out to dinner at Chipotle. When they inevitably get food poisoning, take their place on the court.
  9. The NIT is considered a tournament, right?
  10. Buy tickets like the rest of us.

Okay, I’m not going to lie. None of these ideas are all that great … except for that Chipotle one. That’s got potential. But never count out the Badgers. You don’t go to seventeen straight NCAA tournaments by accident. So what I’m saying is, we’ve got a chance! On, Wisconsin!

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