Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Post-season awards and tournament projections

When the two groups conflict, choose the media over the coaches. It holds true in polling, unfortunately -- the Badgers are #6 in the eyes of the coaches (or whoever's actually submitting ballots on their behalf) and #8 in the AP. Those single-digit numbers have been deemed "glorious" by most.

Wisconsin's a major conference champ that's ranked in the top 8 by everyone, so that should be a #2 seed all the way, right? Wrong:

The Sporting News' Ryan Fagan has Wisconsin as ... a 3 seed, of course.

Joe Lunardi had the Badgers in as a #2 before his last update, when he bumped them to a #3 in favor of Georgetown. I guess that's what a season-ending win over the second-place team in the Big East to secure an outright conference title will do for you. Still no explanation (outside of the ESPN premium channels, anyway) for why the Big XII gets two #2 seeds in Kansas and Texas, especially when Texas (1) has 5 losses to Wisconsin's 4 and (2) was beaten head-to-head by the Badgers. It would be nice for UW if Kansas, Texas, or Duke would bow out really early in their respective conference tournaments.

The all-conference teams are out, and as you might expect from a championship team without a superstar, the accolades are numerous but spread out, with Brian Butch garnering first-team standing from the coaches and the media. (And again, this is another opportunity to pound home the sentiment that the media's opinion trumps the coaches; where the coaches put Drew Neitzel of MSU on the first team, the media picked Jamar Butler of Ohio State. Badger fans will still insist that such a thing is not exactly right but the post-season award that actually means something is already sitting in a trophy case at the Kohl Center, and that wasn't up to a bunch of half-interested voters.)

Is Bo Ryan the class of the Big Ten? Possibly, but that's not going far enough for John Gasaway -- he taps Bo as National Coach of the Decade!