Wisconsin is trying not to think about its missed opportunity from last March as the Badgers seek to build on the momentum they established before the pandemic shut down the 2019-20 basketball season prematurely.
The Badgers have begun preseason practice with virtually the entire nucleus of a team that won a share of the Big Ten regular-season title but didn’t get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.
“We haven’t talked much about that since we’ve been back, really,” fifth-year senior guard D’Mitrik Trice said Wednesday. “We’re focused on this season.”
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Wisconsin was one of the nation’s hottest teams when the pandemic hit.
The Badgers had won eight straight games and seemed in position to make a deep NCAA Tournament run until the season ended in mid-March, during the week of the Big Ten Tournament.
“I don’t think I’ll ever necessarily be over it because it’s one of those things you never really get closure on,” senior guard Brad Davison said.
Davison said he was able to adjust his attitude toward the situation after he saw that ESPN.com had published a mock NCAA Tournament simulation that had Wisconsin winning the national title.
“I woke up and was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ “ Davison said. “That kind of flipped my mindset to, ‘All right, I’m done thinking about last year.’ We want to make that a reality. The only way we can do this is by flipping the switch, by maximizing the moments in front of us