The post-season has finally commenced and as Josh Gasser put it best: “it is win for go home.”
Sunday’s loss to Nebraska didn’t shake up Wisconsin’s placement in the Big Ten tournament. It did however take away their chances of #1 seed in the big dance.
Fortunately for the Badgers, they wont encounter an environment that hostile for the remainder of the March. It seemed as if every Nebraskan in the state found their way into Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday. Their deafening roars reached decimal levels equivalent of a aircraft.
Losing is never fun, but when it’s to a team like Nebraska who has struggled for so long it becomes a tad more tolerable. The Cornhuskers now deserve their first tournament bid since 1998. Wisconsin won’t have to deal with the them until 2015 (unless both storm through the tournament of course).
On tap for the Badgers is Indianapolis and the Big Ten tournament. The Big Ten tourney is more of shimmy to what is the big dance. A weekend-long slugfest between the conference’s best. Wisconsin’s 12-6 conference recorded has earned them a first round buy on Thursday.
UW will take on the winner of Minnesota and Penn State Friday. Both had been taken down by the Badgers in February. Although Wisconsin has proven that they’re better team it will be interesting seeing how they fare coming off a loss.
UW’s inaugural defeat mid-January resulted in a string of losses. The Badger’s now find themselves in familiar territory. Wisconsin won’t have long to recover this time around.
Bo Ryan and his Badgers will have four days to shake off Nebraska. They’re sure to be chomping at the bit to face any opponent, but another loss would yet again leave the Badgers waiting.
Friday’s game is indeed greater than it appears. From the looks of it, UW will likely end up being a two or three seed in the NCAA tournament. Great news for Badger fans, for the NCAA selection committee tends to reward their top seeds with favorable locations. It just so happens that Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley center is hosting the first round this year. Solidifying a high seed may certainly send UW to Brew City. Loosing however, could mean flying across the country to Spokane.
A victory Friday erases the fear of UW slumping. Building momentum for one last run begins now. A consecutive loss could leave the Badgers second guessing themselves.
Wisconsin didn’t look terrible on Sunday. I actually believe they played great until about six minutes left. A few careless plays by Traevon Jackson cost UW the game. Nebraska capitalized on the mistakes by nailing five of their last seven shots.
It was mayhem inside Pinnacle Bank Arena. I don’t know if any team in the country could of stopped the Cornhuskers. All 16,000 in attendance remained on their feet until the final buzzer. You have to hand it to the Badgers for sticking with.
If there was a positive to take away Sunday’s game, it was be experience gained. With practically a mountain of adversity in front of them the Badgers still hung in and fought hard. Yes defeat was imminent, but you have to be impressed how UW fought through multiple Nebraska runs.
Sunday was a perfect preamble for what’s to come. How could an atmosphere like Lincoln’s not pump you up? After the game, Nebraska coach Tim Miles told reporters that a Badger even player told him it was their all-time favorite game played.
A whole state bound together for single game, just to give themselves a chance to play in a tournament with a field of 64.
Madness right? Well welcome to March.