Friday, March 19, 2010

It's Been a Stressful First Round

With Wisconsin's style of play being tough to go up against and the hot run of late from Marquette, the dream was that our two teams could potentiall matchup against one another in the Elite Eight. For that to happen, they'd have to knock off opponents like Kentucky and West Virginia, but the thought wasn't entirely impossible. Well, it is now, as the two teams sure did have a hell of a time in the first round.

I've often said that the Badgers are usually a team that can easily make an Elite Eight run any given year, but that's only if they don't choke in the first round first. The Badgers almost made Wofford the story of the day, but they managed to get the 53-49 victory and will now face Cornell on Sunday. As you can see by the score, it wasn't a pretty game and it's definitely not a performance that Bo Ryan will be showing incoming recruits. Regardless, the Badgers got the win and that's all that matters, as they are one of the 32 teams left playing for the national championship.

This win was credited mainly to Jon Leuer, who scored 20 points including sealing the deal with a jumper and free throws at the end of the game. Leuer is one of the opening round stars as he was very dominating in the paint and we'll need that from him if the Badgers are going to go any further. You'd like to think that this game against Wofford will get some of their shitty play out of their system, but we'll see. From what I've read, Cornell actually plays a brand of basketball similar to Wisconsin, so it could be a challenge. At this point, I think anything less than a Sweet Sixteen bid would be a disappointment for this squad, so hopefully they pick it up on Sunday.

Disappointment is a pretty good way to describe what happened to our other team, Marquette. They were the better team for most of the game, even being up 15 points at one moment in the second half. But the collapse happened, and our friends at Anonymous Eagle are putting the onus on Buzz Williams and his inability to coach defense. The final would then read Washington 80, Marquette 78. Overall, it was a great season for MU, as they made the tournament which at the beginning of the season would have been enough. But they way they played down the stretch they really made us believe they could put a run together, and possibly advance out of this weekend.

It's been an enjoyable tournament so far minus the Marquette loss, and hopefully next weekend at the Badgers are still giving us a reason to write about it.


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