Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

EAST REGIONAL: No. 4 Wisconsin (23-8) vs. No. 13 Wofford (26-8), 3 P.M. Role Reversal for Badgers Terriers Are Underdogs, and Ryan Knows They Can Be Dangerous

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

EAST REGIONAL: No. 4 Wisconsin (23-8) vs. No. 13 Wofford (26-8), 3 P.M. Role Reversal for Badgers Terriers Are Underdogs, and Ryan Knows They Can Be Dangerous

Article excerpt

Byline: CHET FUSSMAN

Though Wisconsin makes its 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance today, the Badgers are almost always considered an overachieving team.

"We're usually the underdogs,'' said senior guard and leading scorer Trevon Hughes.

Not today. The Badgers (23-8) have an obvious experience and size advantage over Wofford (26-8), which is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The two teams also played two seasons ago, with Wisconsin winning 70-43.

But all those advantages on paper mean little to Badgers coach Bo Ryan, who seeks career victory No. 600 today.

"When it comes to this time of year, every team is a winner, every team has good players and things just fall into place,'' said Ryan, 11-8 in the NCAA Tournament in his eight years as UW head coach. "You never know how far you can go, or if things don't fall into place, how short your trip can be.''

Wofford coach Mike Young, whose team has won 13 consecutive games including the Southern Conference Tournament, is embracing the underdog role.

But he also believes the Terriers will not be intimidated, and in fact, will thrive in their initial NCAA Tournament appearance.

"I know my team,'' Young said. "They're a little crazy in a wonderful way. They are convinced that they're going to come in here and play well and give themselves a chance to win. You're not going to convince them that it's a huge upset if we kick a couple in. They're not going to be surprised. Their coach will be, but those guys will not be.''

The Terriers haven't lost since Jan. 22 at College of Charleston. And they have the Southern Conference Player of the Year in forward Noah Dahlman (17 ppg, 59 percent field goal shooter). What they don't have is tournament experience. Wofford and Arkansas-Pine Bluff are the only schools in the field of 64 that haven't played in the NCAA Tournament before.

Ryan shrugged off that advantage, saying: "They've played in the conference tournament, they've played together for a while. …

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