Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - March 27, 2014

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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52 // VARSITY March 27, 2014 NCAA-bound UW hopes to replicate 2006, 2010 Win total, seeding, attitude tie teams together W ith its Big Ten tour- nament title, the Wisconsin men's hockey team secured itself a spot in the NCAA tournament as a No. 1 seed. It's a familiar position for the Badgers, as they've found themselves as a top seed seven times before, including most recently in 2006 and 2010. Usually the No. 1 seed is a good omen for UW, which has won three championships, finished runner-up twice and third once as the high seed. In addition to each hav- ing earned the No. 1 seed, the 2006 and 2010 teams bear plenty of other similarities to this UW squad. All three teams posted simi- lar regular-season win totals, with the 2006 team netting 23 victories, followed by 22 in both 2010 and 2014. Keegan Meuer was a mem- ber of the 2010 team and no- tices the similarities, too. "There's a lot of account- ability with this year's group, and a lot of it comes internally from the captains and the old- er guys," he said. "There was a lot of that mentality in the 2010 team." While the similarities are easier to see now, there was a point in the season where UW looked far from the level of the 2010 squad. A home split with Anchorage on Jan. 6 dropped it to No. 15 in the PairWise and firmly on the NCAA bubble. Since that series, however, the Bad- gers have lived up the the hype that saw them open the season ranked third in both major polls. A pair of victories over Minnesota on Feb. 6-7 as well as the Big Ten tourna- ment championship helped them regain the No. 3 PairWise ranking and secure a No. 1 seed. While nothing is guaranteed in the postseason, Wisconsin hopes its regular season work will serve it as well as it did the 2006 and 2010 teams. So far, so good. SCHEDULE (24-10-2, 13-6-1-0) BIG TEN TOURNAMENT March 21 vs. Penn State W, 2-1 March 22 vs. Ohio State W, 5-4 (OT) NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL Friday vs. North Dakota 7 p.m. Saturday vs. Ferris/Colgate 5:30 p.m. INSIDE MEN'S HOCKEY BY PAUL CAPOBIANCO @BADGERMHOCKEY

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