Wisconsin (24-9) received a 4-seed in the East and will face Montana in the opening round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The Badgers will face the 13th-seeded Grizzlies (25-6) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Badgers will see a familiar face on the opposing bench in former Badger Freddie Owens, who is now an assistant coach with Montana. Owens helped the Badgers win the Big Ten regular-season titles in 2002 and 2003 and the Big Ten tournament title in 2004.
The UW-Montana winner meets either fifth-seeded Vanderbilt (24-10) or 12th-seeded Harvard (26-4) on Saturday.
Montana won the Big Sky regular season and tournament titles, while the Badgers finished in 4th place in both the Big Ten regular season and Big Ten Tournament.
Marquette will also play on Thursday afternoon and will tip-off a short time after the Badgers. The Golden Eagles are the 3-seed in the West and will face the winner of the first round matchup between BYU and Iona.
BYU (25-8, 12-4 West Coast Conference) finished 3rd in the league and lost to Gonzaga in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Iona (25-7, 15-3 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) won the league’s regular season championship and lost in the conference tournament semifinals to Fairfield.