The 9th-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (18-13) lose to 1-seeded Baylor Bears (24-2), 76-63, in the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
In a one word answer to how I feel right now: pain.
There’s such a finality to these tournament games. While they are much more special than regular season games, they hurt a lot more.
The more I’m thinking about it, this tournament doesn’t even really count, right?
While this year doesn’t count towards a year of eligibility for any player, seniors Nate Reuvers, Micah Potter and D’Mitrik Trice were all teary eyed leaving the court.
I’m proud of the fight today, and all year long from this group of Badgers.
Two days ago, Wisconsin had its biggest halftime lead in a NCAA Tournament game in program history. Fast forward to today, the Badgers faced their biggest halftime deficit in a NCAA Tournament game in school history.
It would have been interesting to see this game play out if Wisconsin avoided committing nine turnovers in the first half.
Both teams shot 45.5 percent from the floor. Both teams made 8 three-pointers. Both teams with 26 points in the paint. UW outrebounded Baylor.
To me the story of the game: Baylor scored 16 points off of 14 Wisconsin turnovers. UW scored 2 points off of 4 Baylor turnovers.
Head Coach Greg Gard postgame said: “We got a little speed up early, tried to play too fast at times. The second half was better, but they do a good job. They are athletic, strong, put pressure on every position when they go smaller. That definitely played a factor.”
“I’ve never been around a group that has had to endure more over the last two-plus years. Going back to Coach Moore and that tragedy they still carry with them. I thanked them for all they’ve done for this program going beyond basketball.”
In regards to the future of the program, Gard said: “The older guys have done a really good job of putting the culture in the right spot and guide the younger guys. Hopefully we can get back to some sense of normalcy with offseason training. It’s ginormous to our program.”
D’Mitrik Trice postgame said the locker room was emotional with a lot of tears shed but “We’re going to hold our heads high. A lot of people doubted us the whole entire season.”
If in fact this was their final game in a Wisconsin uniform, I’d like to give a huge thank you to Brad Davison, D’Mitrik Trice, Nate Reuvers, Micah Potter, Aleem Ford and Trevor Anderson. Badgers forever.