Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The perils of speaking too soon

It was nice while it lasted. The Badgers were in a 59-59 tie with under 5 minutes to go, and despite some late clutch shooting by Kam Taylor, found itself on the wrong side of the scoreboard at the final buzzer. The winning streak ends at 17 games. Time to start a new streak, guys.

Take a look at my previous post. "Indiana lives and dies by the triple?" Well, in the second half they went 5-for-6 from beyond the arc, and that (along with shooting 62.5%) was what finished off the Badgers.

This was a fantastic game, despite the result. Wisconsin shot 50% from the floor in the second half, a good effort. There were four ties and nine lead changes, big runs by both teams, hot shooting, strong defense, everything you could want besides the win. Indiana had the three-point shot working and scored 11 points on fast breaks, and at the end of the game their fans got to rush the court.

Hats off to the Hoosiers. They'll be one of those dangerous 4, 5, or 6 seeds -- the one that nobody wants to see on their side of the bracket.

There are plenty of insults to add to tonight's injury, too. Florida managed to parlay their 11-point halftime deficit to a 17-point win over Vanderbilt and UNC wound up bashing Miami in a gaudy 41-point win. If those teams hold serve through the weekend, the Badgers will almost definitely drop from their program-high #2 ranking. Worse, Ohio State came alive and held off Purdue, so they're now tied with the Badgers for the Big Ten lead. Indiana is now one game back. But with Iowa's win over Michigan, I think it's safe to call this a three-team race for Big Ten title contention.

(Bonus note of petty bitterness: A. J. Ratliff has stupid Dumbo ears! Go get some Ear Buddies, dummy!)