Say what you will about the shortcomings of Bo Ryan teams in March, the Badgers are actually 10-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (that's still what I'm calling it) under Ryan. The troubles usually come in the next couple rounds.
The Badgers took care of business on Thursday with a pretty dominating performance against the Montana Grizzlies. People love to pick Wisconsin to be upset early and there were a lot of Montana fans as they came in riding a 14 game winning streak, but this one was never really in doubt. Both teams came out hot, particularly Ryan Evans, but once the Badgers' D stepped it up (Jared Berggren with 7 blocks), the Badgers coasted to a comfortable victory. Jordan Taylor also had a great game with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 0 turnovers.
Now even though Bo Ryan's Wisconsin teams are 10-1 in the first round of the tourney, this does not mean there haven't been a few close ones. Just look at squeaker wins vs. 13 seed Wofford and 15 seed Texas A&M Corpus Christi. So, the relative ease of this win was a surprise, but well deserved.
If the Badgers can keep up the balanced offense (meaning they don't just stand around waiting for the shot clock to go under 10 and pass the ball to Taylor), continue to play strong on the defensive end, and get a 3's to drop for Bruesewitz, Brust, and Wilson, this team can keep rolling.
Next Up: Vanderbilt (pretty much the media darling of this tourney, everyone's sleeper that's not really a sleeper pick) 5:10 CST Saturday.
This will be a much tougher game. I expect a similar grind-it-out 4/5 match-up to last year's win vs. Kansas State.
We Want More (Beer)!
Friday, March 16, 2012 by Tony Brown ·
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