5 Keys 4 UW
Three wins in a row will not only earn Wisconsin a Big Ten Tournament Championship, but also virtually guarantee a highly coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. For the Badgers to be successful in Chicago, they will need to take care of the following five things:1. Take advantage of fatigueMichigan State, Wisconsin’s first opponent, will be playing on about 24 hours rest after a tougher-than-expected battle with Northwestern. The Badgers should be able to wear down the Spartans on both sides of the ball and move on to the second round.2. Be the #2 seedThe Badgers enter the tournament with history on their side. Four of the last five tournament champions finished the regular season second in the conference. The only non-No. 2 seed to win the tournament since 2002? 2005 national runner-up, Illinois.3. Sub wiselyWisconsin is one of the deepest teams in the Big Ten. Effective use of reserves should keep the Badgers fresh for three games in three days.4. Use the POYEarlier this week, Alando Tucker was named conference Player of the Year. If the Badgers are going to be Big Ten Tournament champions, they will have to get Tucker the ball as often as possible within the confines of the offense.5. Be physicalThe Big Ten conference is known for its tough defense and physical play. This contact and intensity gets taken up a notch during the postseason, particularly since this year a number of teams still have some work to do to improve their NCAA tournament résumés. The Badgers must be prepared to match their opponents’ strength.