Friday, February 19, 2010

Wisconsin Limping Towards the Finish

The losses are coming more rapidly for the Badgers basketball team than they have come at any point this season, and it's against teams that they should be beating. Both Illinois and now Minnesota can put Wisconsin in their "quality wins" column, and in both of those losses the Badgers really did get outplayed. Thursday night's game was a prime example of that, as the Gophers ran away with this one winning 68-52.

It looked as if for awhile the Badgers were going to do their patented routine of letting the other team get the lead only to come on strong and beat them in the second half, but Minnesota just never let up. One key to their victory was the huge discrepancy in free throws. The Gophers had four times as many free throw attempts as the Badgers, making 23 of 28 while Bucky was just 5 for 7. As we were flipping between this game, the Marquette game, and the Olympics of course, it did seem like every time we came across the Badger game the Gophers were at the line.

So with the loss, you can pretty much kiss away any chance of the Badgers winning the Big Ten regular season crown, and their seed in the tournament is getting lower by the day. In the losing effort, Trevon Hughes lead Wisconsin with 19 points, while the recently-returning Jon Leuer had just four points in 26 minutes. Next up for the Badgers is an afternoon game against Northwestern on Saturday, please God do not let us lose that one.

Now as for the aforementioned Marquette Golden Eagles, they were also in action Thursday with a game against Pittsburgh. This wasn't a must win for them, but a victory would go a long way if they were indeed going to make the postseason tournament. Well, they lost. They stayed close and the home crowd gave them good support, but Pittsburgh came out with the 58-51 victory. Not the greatest night for basketball in the union's 30th state (hint: Wisconsin).


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