It is too bad that only one of these two teams can move on. The Wisconsin Badgers, who always seem to be counted out before the season starts and who always put together a solid season have to go up against last year's surprise Final Four team, Butler.
Butler who came within inches of a National Title last year has managed to scrape into the Sweet Sixteen in classic Butler fashion, by eking out victories by the skin of their noses. Butler won the 8/9 game over Old Dominion on a buzzer beating put back shot, and managed a one point victory over No. 1 seeded Pitt after two crazy fouls. Butler coach Brad Stevens may be headed elsewhere after the end of this season, as he is suddenly the most sought after coach in America, but until then, he is carrying his team on another unlikely tournament run.
If Butler is the most exciting team in the Sweet Sixteen, then Wisconsin is the least so. They handled No. 12 seed Belmont without blinking, despite being the trendy upset pick. In the second round, the withstood a 38 point game from Kansas State's Jacob Pullen, to pull away with a five point win over the Wildcats. They are predictable and, if their shots are falling, very difficult to stop. Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor are both probably future NBA players, and are almost automatic in the Bo Ryan offense, throw in the motor of bench player Mike Bruesewitz and it is easy to understand why the Badgers have lost so few games this season.
It is a battle between two "tough outs" in this field, and while it will be sad to see one of them head home after tonight, it is probably going to be a great forty minutes of basketball.
For more Badgers coverage, check out the SB Nation Wisconsin Blog Bucky's 5th Quarter.