Wisconsin On for the Sweet Sixteen
Tablet’s team heads to Big Easy for shot at Butler, Elite Eight
After easily handling 13-seed Belmont on Thursday, the Wisconsin Badgers—Tablet Magazine’s official team—defeated Kansas State, a really good team that should have been higher than a five-seed, 70-65, to advance to the program’s first Sweet Sixteen since 2008. Dramatically, one possession after fouling K St. star guard Jacob Pullen, Jordan Taylor had a crucial block on Pullen’s chance to tie, sealing the game. The team will face eight-seed Butler, last year’s overall runner-up, who knocked off top-seeded Pittsburgh. Point guard Taylor and forward Jon Leuer have emerged in recent weeks as elite talents, one of the best small man-big man tandems in the game. Not to jinx it, but Wisconsin’s path to the Final Four could be a whole lot worse: It is, quite simply, a superior team to Butler, and at least as good as Florida and Brigham Young, the two teams that will compete to play the Wisconsin-Butler winner.
Wisconsin will need to methodically grind Butler down with its three-pointers, minimal turnovers, and stingy defense (Taylor must shoot better from the three-point arc than he did against Kansas St., and Leuer must maintain his stellar rebounding, particularly on the offensive end). Certainly it can’t be a bad thing that Butler’s mascot, an actual living bulldog, will not be permitted at the game in New Orleans. Set your calendars: It’s the late game, starting a little before 10 pm, on Thursday night.
As for the Tennessee Volunteers, our official team last year, right before the game a top Tennessee official essentially cut Coach Bruce Pearl’s legs out from under him, going public, after months of radio silence, with the university’s uncertainty as to whether he’ll be back next year. Consequently, Pearl’s team played like … well, like a group of kids who have just been told their beloved coach may be fired, going down hard to Michigan, 75-45. A group of fans greeted Pearl on his return in his support. But certainly his job prospects weren’t helped by that opening round exit.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.