On Thursday night, the Tru TV network will abandon its regular programming, which includes such fare as Disorder in the Court and Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, for the first-round NCAA men's basketball tournament match-up between your Wisconsin Badgers and the Bruins of Nashville's Belmont University.
Maybe network executives have assigned this game to the most obscure of the four networks broadcasting this year's tournament because the fourth-seeded Badgers are predicted to roll over the 13th-seeded Bruins.
Not so fast.
The Badgers haven't beaten a decent team since they eked out a 53-52 victory at Michigan on Feb. 23, a game in which they attempted 17 more shots than the Wolverines. They did not look like a tournament-tough outfit in losses to Ohio State on March 6, surrendering 14 of 15 shooting from three-point range, and Penn State on March 11, managing just 33 points on 29% shooting.
What should scare Badger fans is Belmont's long-range shooting game. The Bruins have attempted 842 three-point shots this season (sinking over 38%) to Wisconsin's 673 (37%). That sounds a lot like Davidson, the relatively unknown team that knocked the Badgers out of the 2008 tournament. That team attempted 901 threes that season, sinking half of its 24 attempts in its third-round thumping of Wisconsin.
This is the Badgers' 13th straight trip to the NCAA tournament. If they advance to the tournament's second weekend, they'll likely face the tournament's weakest one seed in Pittsburgh. Anything less than a strong showing in the Sweet Sixteen would be a disappointment.