Wisconsin begins its 19th consecutive N-C-A-A men’s basketball run tonight (Thursday), when the eighth seeded Badgers play Number nine Virginia Tech. Greg Gard enters his second straight national tourney following Bo Ryan’s retirement, as the U-W continues the fifth longest appearance streak in N-C-A-A history. The 25-9 Badgers face a Hokies’ squad that’s 22-10 for former Marquette coach Buzz Williams, who has turned the Virginia Tech program around in his three seasons there after James Johnson went 12-41 in the two years before. Tip off is around 8:40, and tonight’s (Thursday’s) winner faces top East Regional seed Villanova on Saturday. Tenth seeded Marquette, meanwhile, gears up for its first round East contest against Number seven South Carolina tomorrow (Friday) night.