2005 is the last time the Wisconsin Badgers made it to the "Sweet 16". They advanced to the "Elite 8" that season. A win on Saturday against the Kansas State Wildcats and Wisconsin is back in good company once again.
Standing in their way is perhaps the best college basketball player in America today. 6'10 Michael Beasley scored 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the Wildcats upset win over USC in Thursday's opening round.
Beasley is so special that this, his freshman season, will likely be his only season in college basketball. He could easily be the #1 player taken in the June NBA Draft.
When asked how the Badgers would defend Beasley, the prevailing answer is to do it the same way they defend any other superstar that comes their way. They do it as a team while not forgetting about Beasley's teammates.
Take a look at the last game. Cal State Fullerton's Josh Akognon scored 31 points, but the Badgers held down the rest of the Titans and the 56 points CSF scored was 27 below their season average.
And Beasley's teammates can't be forgotten. Bill Walker scored 22 points and fellow freshmen Jacob Pullen and Ron Anderson had 11 and 10 points respectively. Walker carried the load early, scoring 17 in the first half when Beasley was in foul trouble.
It's not just Beasley the Badgers have to worry about, but while the Wildcats will be no pushovers, the Badgers wouldn't expect one in the round of 32. But there's also no reason why the Badgers can't be headed for Detroit and the "Sweet 16" next week with a win on Saturday afternoon.