Sunday, March 20, 2011

Insert Your Obligatory "Sweet" Headline Here

How "Sweet" it is.
Finding the "Sweet" shot/block
The "Sweet" Taste of Victory
Return to "Sweetness"

Anyway you write it, and no matter how cliched, the bottom line is very satisfying. The Wisconsin Badgers are going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008, once again at the expense of Kansas State.

It was a back and forth game. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I think this might have been the most nervous I can remember being while watching a basketball game. My stomach literally hurt when Jon Leuer missed those two free throws with the scored tied at 61. I could not believe it when Jordan Taylor fouled Jacob Pullen on the 3 point attempt with 10 seconds left. But he missed one, then Taylor got his vindication with the last second block on Pullen. In the end, the better team won. Wisconsin is the definition of a team. Kansas State had only 3 players score from the field in the game. Wisconsin had two players literally leave their blood on the court. Everyone did their part to pick up Jordan Taylor, especially Gasser and Jarmusz, with quiet, but very strong outings. I stated in my preview that Jordan Taylor would cancel out Jacob Pullen. Ok, I was wrong with that one. Pullen was sick and Taylor was quite poor. The worst I've seen him this year. But he made a big 3 and had the big block in crunch time.

A couple big plays that no one has really made note of after the game:

- Taylor's great steal with the score tied that led to the Bruesewitz 3

- The turnover by Jacob Pullen on a run out in the last 20 seconds and Wisconsin only up by one point. I was expecting a foul or a score, but he lost the ball on a combined defensive effort of Bruesewitz and Jarmusz. From there it was all free throws.

It wasn't pretty. It wasn't our best by any means, but we live to play another day. It's the sign of a good team when you don't play your best and you still win. That was the case last night.

There is no reason why Wisconsin cannot make it to the Final Four. We might even be the favorites in New Orleans. That being said, I have to maintain a bit of my Badger Basketball pessimism that I've had for most of the year. Be wary of Butler. This game looks a lot like our 2008 Sweet 16 matchup against Davidson. We will be the favorites, against a strong upstart team. Luckily, Butler does not have Steph Curry.

Oh, and props to Jacob Pullen and Frank Martin for defending him at the post game press conference. Check it out if you haven't already.

And I'll leave you with his Bo Ryan quote from the post game press conference as well.
If you don't turn the ball over a lot, if you get to the free throw line and make your free throws and you work hard on defense and you take good shots ....If you wanna call that Wisconsin Basketball, Amen!


Turtle said...

At least Bruiser didn't do the "3-goggles".

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