Badgers don’t belong in NCAA Tourney anyway

Let’s be honest!
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team doesn’t belong in this year’s NCAA Tournament. I’m not so sure if Coach Greg Gard’s Badgers even belong in the National Invitation Tournament for fear of embarrassment.
Seriously, the Badgers (17-14) aren’t a very good team. Even when they were 11-2 and ranked 14th in the country way back in November, I had reservations about their talent and depth.
As I preached to family and friends who, like me, watched UW lose time and again in the last few minutes this season, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
Plain and simple, there is a serious lack of talent.
There was no “go-to” player to rely upon to make that last-second shot, or steal, or secure a rebound. In essence, there was no Johnny Davis to take them to the finish line.
Before the season began, we all thought senior forward Tyler Wahl would carry the team on his shoulders. However, an early-season ankle injury sidelined him for several games and he never was the same the remainder of the season, albeit a couple of games.
Junior forward Steven Crowl and sophomore point guard Chucky Hepburn were also expected to supply the majority of scoring support and leadership. That didn’t happen either.
Freshman Connor Essegian provided much-needed scoring punch and excitement when he broke into the starting lineup, but understandably has plenty of room for growth within the physical Big 10 Conference.
Junior transfer Max Klesmit also added some valuable offense, but didn’t play with any consistency. Same could be said of Johnny’s twin brother, junior Jordan Davis, who lost his starting job midway through the season. Still, Jordan always provided a valuable offensive and defensive spark off the bench.
One player I begged to see on the court more minutes was guard Isaac Lindsey. He showed good shooting skills and better than average defense for a sophomore.
And, then there is Gard, whom I respect very much. His job is nowhere in jeopardy yet, but I thought he made more than a handful of questionable coaching decisions. And, I can’t figure out why this year’s Gard-led Badgers always played up to their competition, but down to their competition as well.
The last time the Badgers were in the NIT Tourney I was 49 years old. Now, at 76 I will probably tune into the NIT again  unless Wisconsin declines the invitation. Maybe that’s the best decision. If not, I hope they don’t disappoint us anymore this season.