The No. 12 Wisconsin Badgers (24-7) fall to the Michigan State Spartans (22-11), 69-63, in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals in Indianapolis.
Right from the tip, you knew Wisconsin was in trouble in this game. Michigan State always gives Wisconsin fits, always, but if the Badgers play even a semi-adequate game, UW wins. The Badgers just looked out of sync from the get-go.
The officiating was god awful, like extremely bad, but that absolutely was not the reason Wisconsin lost. Wisconsin played very poorly. It was just impossible for UW to win with the poor officiating and the poor offensive performance.
Wisconsin made just 22-of-60 (36.7%) from the field, 7-of-24 (29.2%) from 3-point range and a horrendous 12-of-21 (57.1%) from the free throw line. UW finished with 13 assists and seven turnovers.
Badgers make their free throws and they win this game even with how poorly they played on the offensive end.
This was the worst the offense has ran all season. The Badgers needed to run inside out, especially tonight. I’m extremely puzzled by the lack of post touches. This was the worst game of hero ball I’ve seen from UW in a long time.
Johnny Davis was brutal tonight. He finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, but he was 3-of-19 from the field and had three turnovers in 34 minutes and battled foul trouble.
It’s tough for others to get involved with scoring when your big dog shoots like that. It just becomes a math equation.
Brad Davison was really the only bright spot on the offensive end, finishing with 23 points on 8-of-15 from the field. Davison tried carrying the team, and did a good job of it, when Johnny was on the bench with foul trouble.
This game was torture and I was not having fun with it.
It was a bumpy landing as we head into the NCAA Tournament.
It was a tough loss tonight for sure, but this very well could have been a blessing as far as the NCAA Tournament goes for Wisconsin. It gives Johnny Davis, who did not look like himself coming off that injury, at least one and maybe two additional rest days to heal up and only costs the Badgers one seed line down to a 3-seed.
The NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin will have to wait until Sunday to see what seed they’ll be getting, who they’ll be playing and the location of where they’ll be playing the first weekend. My prediction is they’ll be playing in Milwaukee next Friday and (hopefully) Sunday.