OK, Bucky. It's time for another upset.
The eighth seeded University of Wisconsin Badgers tangle with the No. 4 seed Florida Gators at 8:59 p.m. CDT today in Madison Square Garden in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
By shear strength and tenacity, a gator would handle a much smaller badger in the critter world. Most betting lines give the Gators basketball team an edge, too. However, don't count out the Badgers.
As a reminder, I was one of those doubting Wisconsin fans who said the Badgers wouldn't make it to the Sweet Sixteen, and maybe not survive their tournament opener. Here they are, back in the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth straight year. And we all know anything can happen once you are one of 16 teams left in the Big Dance.
I believe Wisconsin's winning formula is based upon five keys:
They must go deep in the shot clock on every offensive possession, and when the time comes, finish. The Gators boast the No. 3 defense in the nation. Tire them out on defense. I doubt whether the Badger can shoot 53 percent from the field as they did against when they upset No. 1 overall seed Villanova, but they must convert 47-50 percent of their shots. Bronson Koenig also must break his Madison Square Garden poor shooting streak and have a big game.
Stay out of foul trouble.
Cash in from the free throw line with at least 70 percent success.
Keep the game close. Don't allow Florida to get on an offensive run. The closer the game is at the end, the better chance the Badgers will have to win.
5. Finally, the Badgers must continue to play with a chip on their shoulder, just as they have their first two tournament games.