The Wisconsin Badgers earn a No. 2 seed in the West Region for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. They will play No. 15 seed American University Thursday at 11:40 a.m. in Milwaukee, Wis. The game will be broadcast on TruTV.
The winner plays either No. 7 Oregon or No. 10 BYU.
"Being a No. 2 seed in Milwaukee, playing close to home ... it just means we did something good this year," guard Josh Gasser said.
This is Wisconsin's 16th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, which is the third-longest streak in Big Ten history. (Indiana made 18 straight appearances from 1986-2003 and Michigan State currently owns a streak of 17 consecutive appearances.) Wisconsin finished second in the Big Ten Conference, posting a 26-7 overall record.
"They won't hear from me that we're a two-seed. They won't hear from me that we're in Milwaukee," Ryan said. "My guys are pretty smart. They know what's at stake."
The AU Eagles (20-12) were picked ninth in the Patriot League but finished second, with a 13-5 conference record. Gasser said he quickly started looking up information on American after the matchup was announced. Ryan already had an early scouting report, and noted American's Princeton-style offense and tough defense.
"It's March, and teams didn't get here just by luck of the draw," guard Ben Brust said. "Whoever you play is going to bring it."
Another Wisconsin school, Milwaukee, is headed to Buffalo as a No. 15 seed to play second-seeded Villanova in the East region. It's the Panthers' first trip to the NCAAs since 2006.
Two other Wisconsin schools weren't as lucky — Winona native Alec Brown and UW-Green Bay was snubbed after winning the Horizon League regular-season title but getting upset on its home floor by Milwaukee. The Phoenix are a four-seed in the NIT and will host Belmont on Tuesday.
Marquette got snubbed by the NIT, before a message on the athletic department's Twitter said the team "will not be participating in any other events." The Golden Eagles, therefore, got shut out of the postseason's top tournaments in a year when the NCAA is holding opening-weekend games in its home building.
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