The NCAA Tournament committee has been taking a beating since Wisconsin took down top overall seed Villanova on Saturday. You can add Purdue coach Matt Painter to the mix.
Following the Boilermakers’ 80-76 win over Iowa State to reach their first Sweet 16 since 2009, Painter was asked at his postgame press conference about what message he felt the Big Ten — which is 7-3 so far in the tournament — has sent during March Madness. Painter didn’t hold back when it came to Wisconsin and its No. 8 seed.
People that don’t think our league is any good, tell them to go play Wisconsin. They’re not an 8th seed. I don’t understand that. You don’t understand basketball if you put Wisconsin as the 8th seed. Wisconsin is one of the toughest teams in the country, period. And sure they struggled a little bit at the end. Everybody has something, outside of four, five teams, where you struggle.
That quote reflects the general consensus surrounding Wisconsin and its seeding, which never really made sense when compared to how the rest of the Big Ten was seeded. That was especially true with No. 5 seed Minnesota, which was an underdog against No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee before falling to the Blue Raiders in the first round on Thursday.
Wisconsin: Second in B10, B10 Tournament finalist, beat Minnesota twice, and Badgers were an 8-seed and Gophers a 5-seed?
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 18, 2017
Of course, it’s not like the Badgers are complaining now.