MADISON - Selection Sunday continues to be a hom-hum celebration for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball, devoid of wild celebrations, confetti and dancing.
When it comes to the NCAA Tournament, the Badgers expect to be in and this year, they expect to bounce back.
"We were just excited to get out on the floor again," senior Jason Bohannon said. "The last game (a 58-54 loss to Illinois Friday) left a little sour taste in our mouth with how we performed. Luckily, we've prepared ourselves and played well enough to be put in position to get another game."
Continuing its program-record of 12 straight NCAA Tournament appearances (fourth longest current streak in the nation), Wisconsin (23-8) was announced as a No.4 seed in the East Region, opening play 2 p.m. Friday against 13th-seed Wofford in Jacksonville.
The winner will play the winner of No.5 Temple and No.12 Cornell on Sunday.
"These guys played well enough over a four month period to be in a pretty good position in the NCAA Tournament," said Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan, as the Badgers are 12-5 lifetime vs. lower seeds, 10-2 under Ryan's watch. "That's how it judged. It's judged on your entire body of work. I am extremely excited for our guys (and) that they get a chance to play again."
Wisconsin finished 11-5 for a tie for fourth place in the Big Ten, but struggled in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals. Regardless, the Badgers were one of six teams in the country to beat three AP top 10 opponents this season, ranked third in the KenPom ratings and had an RPI of 20, things that certainly makes UW a dangerous team in the field.
"Every time we step on the court, we feel like we can do some damage," senior Trevon Hughes said. "I am pretty sure I am not speaking for myself. Anybody on our team, our coaching staff, we feel like we can win every game."
Wofford (26-8, 15-3 Southern), winners of 13 straight, won its conference tournament to earn the school's first automatic birth into the tournament. The Terriers are led by junior forward Noah Dahlman, who is the team's only double-digit scorer at 16.8 points per game.
Wisconsin is 1-0 lifetime against the Terriers, the only meeting being a 70-43 victory in December 2007 in Madison.
"They are a totally different team I am sure (but) they are playing good basketball," Bohannon said. "They are playing very well right now. We need to come ready to play."
Wisconsin is 6-2 all-time against the Southern Conference and will join four other Big Ten teams (No.2 Ohio State, No.4 Purdue, No.5 Michigan State and No.11 Minnesota) in the 65-team field.
With a couple of senior guards, four players that average over 10 points per game and the top defensive unit in the Big Ten, the Badgers aren't expecting to have a short stay at any tournament site.
"We wouldn't step on the floor if we felt we couldn't step on the court if we didn't want to win and perform to our highest level," said Bohannon. "We have an opportunity to go and do that."