Why Badgers are a Final Four 'sleeper'
Every fall, when asked for Final Four predictions at the start of the season, my methodology is the same: Pick two favorites and two so-called sleepers. The reason for this is simple. More often than not, the Final Four is comprised exactly that way.
There are two kinds of "sleepers" in my mind. The first are the mid-major, VCU types that bust everyone's brackets. These teams make very memorable, but also very rare Final Four runs.
The sleepers in the second set are less identifiable but far more likely to win the four NCAA games required to reach the ultimate weekend. They are major conference teams, usually down in the standings a bit, that get hot or have the right matchups along the way.
Picking these teams in November is guesswork (I had the Pittsburgh Panthers on the list at that time). Picking them now is fun. Which brings us to the Wisconsin Badgers, the No. 4 seed in the East and a truly live underdog to win a pair of games in Boston and play itself all the way to New Orleans.
I picked the Badgers in November because I thought Bo Ryan's program was due and the Big Ten was deep enough to send a non-favorite to the Final Four. I picked them at the start of this tournament because of matchups, the presence of a vulnerable No. 1 seed in the Syracuse Orange, and the notion that a senior star like Jordan Taylor could conclude his career with a flourish.
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