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On the list of bad losses...

...this one is certainly up there.

Wrong team, wrong time, wrong way.

It's strange because I don't think anyone said before Thursday's heartbreaking 78-74 overtime loss to Minnesota that this was a must-win for the Wisconsin program. It's funny how things work once the game gets played.

Ten minutes in, there was no doubt that this was a statement game for both teams. 37 minutes in, it appeared that Wisconsin was well on its way to telling Tubby that Minnesconsin was still "our house."

That's why we play 40.

We leave the recaps up to those sitting in press row. We all know what happened from there. Wisconsin blew a 14-point 2nd half lead and when Lawrence Westbrook hit a three to tie the game with two seconds left in regulation, it was obvious that overtime didn't have to be played.

Just ask Marcus Landry, who took the in-bounds pass after Westbrook's three. He stood there like a deer in the headlights while the time ran out, instead of at least throwing up a prayer to win the game.

That prayer was all Wisconsin had. It was all Gophers in overtime
  • I've been extremely disappointed in Trevon Hughes this season. Sure, he is the most improved 3-point shooter in the country, but when it comes to running the offense and making good decisions, it's a crap shoot as to what he is going to do. He made poor decisions Sunday in UW's loss to Purdue and it was important that he rebound with a big game against Minnesota. AND THAT DOESN'T MEAN SCORING. Case in point: The Badgers led by 11 at halftime with all their points coming from Landry, Jason Bohannon and Jon Leuer. Hughes had none, but Wisconsin was cruising. In the second half, Hughes had 14 points, but he also turned the ball over twice in the final four minutes of the game (career high six turnovers on the night), committed a silly foul that led to two FREE Minnesota points, and jacked up shot after shot in overtime instead of getting his teammates involved. When Hughes is on the court, he's got one eye on his teammates and one eye on the basket--not exactly what you want from your point guard.
  • What was J-Bo thinking? With 40 seconds left Wisconsin broke the press with a long pass and Bohannon appeared to have an easy layup to put UW up 6. But he slightly hesitated and two Gophers were closing in quickly. Paul Carter blocked the shot and Damien Johnson hit a three on the other end to make it a 1-point game. That's a 5-point swing and it's inexcusable. I don't care if Bohannon was the only player on the court, he shouldn't have gone up for the layup. Up four with 40 seconds left, the Gophers had to foul and Bohannon is one of the best free throw shooters in the country. He's got a better chance of scoring at the line than he does going up for a layup against Carter.
  • To foul or not to foul? Coaches differ on this and Bo Ryan has always let his defense make the stop instead of fouling with a three point lead. I guess you are going to be right sometimes and wrong sometimes. Hughes inexplicably bit on a pump fake and went for the ball instead of staying in front of his man. Westbrook made him pay by hitting the game-tying three.
  • I bet you forgot... Al Nolen fouled out with 3:23 left in the game and UW up 53-44. That's when Lawrence Westbrook took over and Hughes had no answer defensively. If only Michael Flowers had been out there.
  • I bet you didn't realize... The Badgers till made more free throws (23) than their opponent attempted (18). That's the goal in every game and I'm not sure I've ever seen a Bo Ryan team come out on the losing end in a game where accomplished that.
  • Most telling stat... 18 Wisconsin turnovers. The Gophers had 18 too, but Wisconsin leads the nation in fewest turnovers at 11. They can't afford 18 of them.
  • I hate complaining about the officiating but it's two bad Ted Hillary, Rick Hartzell and Reggie Greenwood couldn't have called a better game in such a good game. And Minnesota actually had the short end of the officiating. Damien Johnson clearly blocked two shots in the final minutes but was called for fouls on both of them. And while Hughes never should have been reaching up six with 44 seconds left, he did steal that ball cleanly, but was called for the foul.