by Tommy Gimler
Need further proof that college basketball rankings are more fucked up than Forest Whitaker’s face? Then look no further than those crackers known as the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team.
In a college basketball season that has seen more fantastic finishes than a peeping Tom, perhaps the best one took place today at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. Down three points to the #3 ranked Michigan Wolverines with just 2.4 seconds left to play in regulation, Badgers forward Mike Bruesewitz, who looks like the offspring of the MAD magazine guy and a Raggedy Ann doll, inbounded the ball to guard Ben Brust. And then, well, watch this shit:
In typical Wisconsin fashion, the two teams combined for only seven points in overtime. But another Brust 3-ball in OT was the difference, as the Badgers sent the Wolverines to their second consecutive road loss.
For the Badgers, the victory was their fourth against a ranked opponent, tied for the best in all of college basketball. It was also their fourth in six tries this season against a team ranked 12th or higher at the time. They’re now 17-7 overall and 8-3 in the Big Ten, the conference that most experts will tell you is the best in the country this year.
In conference, they have beaten Michigan, Indiana, Illinois (twice), Iowa, and Minnesota, yet they are unranked. Meanwhile, that Minnesota team hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent in a month, they have lost five of their last seven, and they’re 5-5 in conference. Yet these experts who rank college basketball squads have them as the 18th best team in the country while the Wisconsin Badgers are unranked.
Or how about the Bearcats of Cincinnati? Graduating their players isn’t the only issue that program has had lately. After another Big East loss today, the Bearcats are losers of 3 of their last 5. They’re sporting a 6-5 conference record, and they have only beaten a 24th ranked Pittsburgh squad and 25th ranked Marquette club in overtime. Yet they’re ranked 17th while the Badgers find themselves unranked.
So what gives? How is a team with four wins against ranked opponents and an 8-3 record in the toughest conference in college basketball unranked?
Let’s face it. A Badgers victory is about as pretty as this broad:
They’re 88th in rebounds per game, 148th in assists per game, 175th in points per game, and 206th in field goal percentage. They’re also extremely white. Hell, even their two best black players, Ryan Evans and Traevon Jackson, are whiter than Barack Obama. But even though a Badgers win is about as sexy as the time my sister accidentally took a shit in the bathtub when we were kids, they are nonetheless wins, and apparently they don’t go as far with the sportswriters as they used to…