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Maybe a loss was inevitable, but why Purdue and why Senior Day?
Maybe we should have expected that. Wisconsin has been "on" since the very beginning of February, getting the better of three straight overtime games and reeling off three straight blowout wins that made us feel really good about this team, even if two of those wins were against Nebraska and Northwestern. Maybe that long, high-energy stretch wore them out. Sometimes your legs give a bit, your attention wanders for a moment, and you lose. Sometimes you just kinda suck.
On Senior Day, however, losses like this sting. The Badgers were out-efforted by a team that needed "an attitude adjustment and seems very leaderless when it comes to effort" heading into the game. Purdue was rudderless heading into Sunday, yet finished the game with a 36-26 rebounding advantage against the Big Ten's No. 1 team in defensive rebounding percentage. How does that happen on the last night that Jared Berggren, Ryan Evans and Mike Bruesewitz ever take the Kohl Center floor?
If the Badgers are blown out by Michigan State on Thursday or shocked by Penn State next Sunday, I would not be surprised. Wisconsin is a good team, but obviously flawed, and even the most hustle-filled teams experience a lapse in concentration at some point. The Badgers have played flat before. And in the grand scheme, the loss may not mean much. Wisconsin won't win a regular season Big Ten title for a fifth-straight season, but there is a whole lot of potential tournament goodness still to come.
It's just disheartening that this loss had to happen on Senior Day. Bo Ryan is now 11-1 in the last home game of the season. Here's hoping the Class of 2013 goes on to be known for something more than a tick in a loss column.
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