Putting on Dancing Shoes

Despite plenty of upsets around the country during Championship Week, the Wisconsin basketball team avoided getting its bubble burst, as the Badgers earn a No.12 seed in the East Region and will face Florida State on Friday.

MADISON - In a dejected, melancholy locker room, one of the few thing veteran Joe Krabbenhoft could mutter was they simply wanted a chance to redeem themselves and their season.

At 5:26 CT, the Badgers were finally given a second life.

Continuing its program-record of 11 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, Wisconsin's name was announced as a No.12 seed in the East Region and will open play Friday against Florida State (25-9) on Friday at approximately 9 p.m.

The winner will play the winner of No.4 Xavier and No.13 Portland State on Sunday.

"We're just happy as a team that we get another shot to go out there and play and prove that they made a good choice by picking us in the NCAA Tournament," Krabbenhoft said. "I think they did."

Wisconsin (19-12) is 3-7 lifetime vs. higher seeds and Ryan is 0-5 in seven previous appearances with the Badgers. The 12 seed is the lowest seed the Badgers have ever received since seeding began in 1979.

"It doesn't affect anything," senior Marcus Landry said of the seeding. "You have to play who is next and they are next. That's who we have to play and we're going to prepare for those guys like any other team. Whether we are a one, 16 or 12, we have to go out there with one thing on your mind and that's win."

Florida State (25-9, 10-6 ACC) received an at-large bid from the ACC after losing to Duke, 79-69, in the ACC Championship game Sunday afternoon in Tampa.

Ranked 22nd in the country, the Seminoles beat No.1 North Carolina in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament and were 4-6 against Top 25 opponents this season.

"They are a team that is obviously hitting on all cylinders right now," Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. "Their quickness and athleticism actually is even better than it was before. We know what we'll be up against."

The Seminoles are led by senior guard Toney Douglas, who started all 34 games and averaged 21.1 points per game. Florida State has four other players that average over 7.7 points per game.

Wisconsin is 2-0 lifetime against Florida State with both meetings coming in Madison and the most recent being a 81-66 victory in November 2006 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

"I remember the most important thing (was) we came out with a victory," Landry said. "They are a very athletic team and you can't take things like that lightly. They're going to want to win as badly as we do. It's going to be who wants it more."

Wisconsin is 15-11 all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference and will join six other Big Ten teams (No.2 Michigan State, No.5 Illinois and Purdue, No.8 Ohio State and No.10 Michigan and Minnesota) in the 65-team field.

The Badgers played in Boise in 2001, the year after their historic Final Four run, losing to No.11 Georgia State, 50-49, in the first round.

"I don't know a whole lot of where we are playing until we get there," Krabbenhoft said. "I don't know if the floor is blue like their football field, but I am just excited to get out there."

Wisconsin finished 10-8 for a tie for fourth place in the Big Ten, but struggled to close out games this season. The Badgers lost nine games in which they held a lead in the second half, but played the 16th-toughest schedule in the country and had an RPI of 45, things that certainly helped UW get into the field.

"I think (associate head coach) Greg Gard deserves all the credit," Ryan said. "I felt very good about the schedule maker. That got us and (the three conference road wins), strength of schedule definitely worked in our favor."


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