Wisconsin basketball: 2019-20 season review and 2020-2021 early preview

Nate Reuvers #35 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Nate Reuvers #35 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Wisconsin basketball
Brad Davison #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

It looked like Wisconsin basketball was on pace for a so-so season in the but a hot finish helped them secure an unlikely regular-season Big Ten title.

The Big Ten was one of the most competitive conferences in college basketball this season so surviving the league would take a lot out of any team. Wisconsin basketball entered the year as a talented group, but expectations were not as high as they were for schools like Michigan State and Maryland.

The non-conference season was a challenge for Wisconsin, which started the year by losing at home in overtime to Saint Mary’s. New Mexico, NC State and Richmond also took down the Badgers in non-conference play as Wisconsin showed off very inconsistent form.

An early trend that emerged in Big Ten play for Wisconsin was their brilliance at the Kohl Center compared to struggles on the road. From mid-January through Feb. 5, the Badgers won all three of their home games while going 0-4 on the road, leaving Wisconsin 13-10 overall and just 6-6 in Big Ten play.

The Badgers wouldn’t lose again, winning eight straight games to end the regular season. That surge allowed Wisconsin to earn what was as recently as a month ago an extremely unlikely share of the Big Ten title.

Tiebreakers allowed Wisconsin to earn the top seed in the conference tournament, where they were awaiting their first game before the Big Ten called the event off. The following cancellation of the NCAA Tournament officially ended Wisconsin’s season, leaving unanswered questions about how far the Badgers could have gone in March.