Basketball seasons are often tales of multiple chapters. Injuries occur, freshmen develop, buzzer beaters shape conference races, and it all melds together to perhaps tell a different story than was originally expected. This season is no different, of course, and there are plenty of games left to play, but we’ve seen enough to have a pretty good idea of how March is going to shake out. After taking an objective look at the season to this point and adjusting for any potential bias, when factoring in tonight’s scores, the results are conclusive: Wisconsin is going to win the national championship.
Let’s navigate. Wisconsin has been to every NCAA Tournament since 1998. They’ve punched their ticket in almost every way possible, from 1-seeds to last team in. The program has been a model of consistency in maintaining an extremely high floor for its production. Quite frankly, the formula has gotten boring. So, how do you spice things up? Do what you haven’t done before: dig yourself so big of a hole that you need to auto-bid your way to the promised land. Lose all your games against decent teams for a few months and just let that marinate. Then, when everyone is good and comfortable with you sucking so hard, kerblamo! Punch the facial region of the biggest guy in the room! Flex what remains of your muscles! Reference your reproductive organs and their circumference in relation to those of the general population!
Here are the reasons Wisconsin’s win over Purdue tonight was proof of sustainable quality and not at all a fluke to be enjoyed and dismissed:
- Kaminsky Magic: It’s important to look back at when Wisconsin was at its all-time peak and compare that team to the current edition to find evidence of similarities that would infer a winning formula. Just to make for a more sound analysis, we’ll throw in Wisconsin’s 2nd-best team to add another data point. While there are some noted differences between these teams and today’s Badgers, notably efficiency, shooting, defensive prowess, and wins, there is one key common denominator: Frank The Tank Kaminsky. Sure, Frank exhausted his eligibility years ago and went on to the NBA, but he was also on hand at the Kohl Center for tonight’s win over #6 Purdue. Coincidence? I think not. It’s clear that Frank is in a giving mood after having his number retired at Wisconsin and has offered his genius to the current squad. And just in time! Purdue is a national contender and typically the worst match-up for Wisconsin, but sometimes there’s just no answer for a fella named Frank.
- Seismic Defensive Improvement: Wisconsin entered tonight’s game ranked #114 in defensive efficiency per KenPom.com. Unless you’re a fan of one of the mere 113 teams that were better you are not allowed to judge; however, there’s no need anyway. After just one game using Kaminsky Magic, Wisconsin has vaulted all the way up to 87th. That’s a 27-spot jump! An elite defensive team can hang with anyone, and at this pace of improvement Wisconsin will become the best defensive team in the nation after their first B1G tourney win. That’s just math.
- The Gate is Still Technically Open: You pigskin folk might be saying, “Hey that’s all fine and well, but Wisconsin still lost like a billion games, how are they going to get into a playoff?” Well, you fool, there are huge differences between the selection processes of kickypunts and shootyhoops. You see, in one sport, a committee comes together to meticulously evaluate the merits of the nation’s teams and utilizes metrics and critical thinking to come to a consensus on playoff invitations for 4 teams. In the other, though, a committee comes together to meticulously evaluate the merits of the nation’s teams and utilizes metrics and critical thinking to come to a consensus on playoff invitations for 68 teams. And! There’s a little-known loophole in the basketball world that I’ve uncovered and I fully expect Wisconsin to exploit. If you win your conference tournament, no matter what you did up until then, the committee just lets you in. Boom, lawyer’d. As we have learned, since Wisconsin is already poised to become the best defense since Cochran by the time this tournament comes around, there is a near-certain chance that it walks through unscathed.
After that, the national tournament is just a formality. Place your bets now, folks! I have gained power of attorney for my father’s estate and am putting it all on this national championship. I’ll see you all in Turks and Caicos. This will not end poorly.