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Michigan State routed Wisconsin last night in East Lansing, and a fifth-place finish in the Big Ten now looks likely. What happens to Wisconsin from here on out?
What else needs to be said? Phil Mitten laid it all out for you last night following the Badgers horrific loss to the Spartans.
How does a team get its teeth kicked in by 15 points when the opponent shoots just 36.9 percent (24-of-65) on their own home floor? Well, Wisconsin found a way to make that happen last night in East Lansing.
Everybody on the UW squad played terribly last night. You all saw it. I don't have to rant and vent my frustrations any more than the next guy. This could easily be a long, never-ending column about all of the Badgers, deficiencies, but I'll try my best to refrain.
Let's start with the fact Wisconsin had 16 turnovers and shot less than 30 percent from the field -- c'mon, man! Those stats wouldn't allow for a win against the delinquents from the Mississippi State Correctional Facility.
Next, look at Michigan State's point guard and leader Keith Appling: he is now three for his last 29 on three-point attempts. Yet, he managed to shoot over 50 percent from the field last night and finish with a game-high 19 points. His Wisconsin counterpart, Traevon Jackson: not even a dent in the scoring column -- zero, zip, zilch, zero and zip. No points in 30 minutes of action from the starting point guard won't get the job done against anybody. In fact, that's about as egregious as it gets.
One last point to note on: 4-of-23 from distance. 4-of-23. The Badgers' shooting capabilities have been up and down all season, but last night took poor performance to a whole new level. Any team that has the ability to shoot that badly just doesn't deserve to be in the conference champion discussion. Wisconsin is officially no longer in that picture after laying an egg against Michigan State.
The Badgers have now lost eight consecutive games at the Breslin Center, and last night's atrocious play showed why they struggle so mightily there. Who knows what will happen the rest of the way, but last night was unbearable. Is anyone prepared to look past last night and see what will happen later this month? Quite frankly, I'm scared to look beyond last night with any kind of optimism.
I was trying to find words to describe Wisconsin's performance last night so I decided to type "awful" into the search bar on thesaurus.com. Here are some of the synonyms I found: abominable, dreadful, horrendous, terrible (maybe Charles Barkley's T-R-B-L is more appropriate). Take your pick of any of those descriptors and it would fit the Badgers' play.
Let's just hope things vastly improve come tourney time later this month because if they don't, we'll all be bidding adieu to this Wisconsin season in very short order.
The Wisconsin State Journal's Jim Polzin recaps UW-Michigan State.
Here are some of the seeding scenarios for the Big Ten Tournament.
Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sat down with Wisconsin players and coaches to talk about the offensive issues prior to the Michigan State outing.
Potrykus also takes a last look at Badgers-Spartans.