Team preview: Wisconsin

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2003-04 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 9, 2003, 11:12 AM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 327 Division I teams.

To the casual observer, the state of Wisconsin is not known as a basketball hotbed. Think Wisconsin hoops and the first name likely to pop into your head is Dick Bennett, the patron saint of Dairyland basketball coaches. Bennett's teams and their close-to-the-vest, chest-pass style of play conjure images of four-corner offenses played by guys in belted shorts and knee-high socks who work the floor for an open two-handed set shot.

But that was yesterday, or at least 2000. Take a look around Wisconsin these days and you'll notice that three-count 'em, three-of the state's four Division I programs qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season. Tom Crean took Marquette to the Final Four. Bruce Pearl helped Wisconsin-Milwaukee knock mighty Butler from its traditional Horizon League perch.