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NCAA tournament seed gives Wisconsin Badgers extra motivation

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team didn’t have to wait long for their name to be called to the NCAA tournament field. Unfortunately, that was because of a shockingly low seed.

UW will enter the tournament as the No. 8 seed in the East region, matching up with No. 9-seed Virginia Tech Hokies. The seeding of Wisconsin, especially compared to the rest of the Big Ten sent many in to a state of shock.

It definitely caught the Badgers by surprise, and senior guard Zak Showalter let the world know exactly what the team thought of its No. 8 seed.

“Obviously we thought we might have a higher seed than that,” Showalter said. “So, we’ll have a chip on our shoulder and be ready to go.”

He did mention that UW knew they would have a target on their back heading in to the Big Ten tournament and used that as motivation. It worked, as the Badgers played motivated basketball and took both Indiana and Northwestern down in blowout fashion.

The play of Wisconsin in the first two games of the tournament was some of the best anyone has seen from this team all season long. However, that momentum didn’t swing them to a Big Ten title.

Instead, the Badgers ran in to arguably the hottest team in the country right now — the Michigan Wolverines. It appeared that the committee wasn’t going to have much love for the Badgers even if they won the Big Ten tournament title.

After all, Michigan came in at a No. 7 seed, while the Badgers were left wondering what one has to do to be seeded better than a team it beat twice during the regular season and couldn’t even make it to the final of the Big Ten tournament this weekend.

We’ve heard the Badgers seniors talk before this season. That didn’t work out so well for Nigel Hayes and Co., but can this time be different? Showalter certainly has don his best to try to lift his team.

He has put up double figures in five of the last six games, including an average of 10.0 points per game in the Big Ten tournament. Additionally, Showalter has hit two or more three-pointers in each of the last six games.

While he has backed up the talk of motivation, can the rest of the team come along this week?

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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