Badgers Loss Won't Derail Ryan's Bunch
Watching the Wisconsin Badgers loss to Illinois in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament felt like watching a painful early October scrimmage...at least until there were 5 minutes remaining in the game. For 35 minutes, the only thing working for the Badgers was the guy wearing #30. Three-point air balls, missed two-footers, ugly free throw shooting...it was the kind of game your son or daughter would play juuuust before you suggested they take up another sport.
But it wasn't long after the game that I exhaled and breathed a sigh of relief.
Sure, the loss to Illinois seems devastating on the surface: The Badgers will not be a 3 seed, and they will not play in Milwaukee. Might I remind you that the Final Four team in 2000 was an 8 seed and played about as far away from their backyard as possible. Looking at the big picture, I'm pleased that this frostbitten performance happened during the second week in March and not the third or fourth.
Bo Ryan teams rarely clunk around in consecutive games and there's no reason to think they will when the ball goes up on Thursday or Friday.
George Karl used to say there are about ten games per (NBA) season that aren't even worth evaluating. Either the team played so far above their capability, or so far below, that watching the video would be wasteful time. The Badgers performance against the Illini was truly a flawed misrepresentation of the quality of this team.
How else would one explain the Badgers torrid 45.9 three point shooting percentage to close out the season versus the paltry 15% they chucked up today. It's just one of those random occurrences...but at least it happened now.