I just had a buddy of mine in Chicago text me, "Was that the real Wisconsin score I just saw??"
Yes. Yes it was. At least that's what they are telling us. Green Bay won its first game in 16 tries over the Badgers with an 88-84 win Wednesday night at the Resch Center.
This won't be your typical recap/reaction from us here at Bucky's 5th Quarter. Because of the snow storm and some other reasons beyond our control, we did not have anyone in Green Bay covering the game for us Wednesday and since it wasn't on TV, it would be unprofessional of me to really give an opinion on any specifics that transpired.
It's kind of like that saying about the tree falling in the forest. If we weren't there and the game wasn't on television, did it really happen? Unfortunately, I think it did, but this might be the first time in two years that I feel like I need to read a newspaper in the morning.
In a moment I'll pass along some links from other reporters who were actually at the game, because we have a better chance of solving a Rubik's Cube tonight than figuring out what the hell happened in Green Bay.
You're telling me Trevon Hughes scored 27 points, while Jon Leuer added 26 points and 12 rebounds and the Badgers lost? You're telling me a team that hasn't allowed 70 or more points in any game this season despite playing Arizona, Gonzaga, Maryland and Duke allowed 88 to Green Bay? I know it went to overtime -- I'm sorry, I heard it went to overtime -- but still, 88 points?
My only guess is that the real Badgers got lost in the snow storm somewhere. Folks in Waupun, Wis., if you see any tall people wearing full red jumpsuits who look lost, please return them to the Kohl Center, 601 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53715. Thank you.
OK, let's see if we can make some sense of all this:
My guy Rob Schultz from Madison.com has his recap here and includes some key numbers I was very curious about after the game. He mentions that Green Bay's 88 points are the most UW has given up since Arizona scored 94 in that ugly NCAA first round game in 2006. Green Bay is also only the second team to score more than 80 points against Wisconsin since the 2006-07 season.
Now you know why random people from Chicago were texting me to see if that was really the final score.
Schultz also reminds us that Green Bay improved to 1-15 all-time against Wisconsin and mentions that the Phoenix's leading scorer, Rahmon Fletcher (17.2 ppg) did not play in overtime "after banging knees with UW senior point guard Trevon Hughes on a drive." He says player of the game honors go to Bryquis Perine who scored a career-high 22 points for the Phoenix.
If you are wondering what Bo Ryan has to say then you can check out some of his post-game quotes here.
Finally, the Green Bay coverage reminds us that this was the game of the season for the Phoenix. Much like the Badgers had been looking forward to Duke all summer long, this was Green Bay's biggest home game in years and they were ready. Give them credit.
For Badger fans, this is nothing new. Bo Ryan's teams typically lose one baffling game each season. The last two seasons have lacked a bad non-conference loss, but most fans remember tough losses to Pepperdine, North Dakota State and Missouri State in a recent three year stretch. The good news? All three of those teams reached the NCAA Tournament, one of them made the Elite Eight and another went on a 17-game winning streak after the "bad loss" and ended up being ranked the AP's No. 1 team at one point in the season.
I've already had people ask me if this "negates" the Duke win. No it doesn't. This team is much better off having beat Duke and lost to Green Bay than the other way around.
But I'm still not convinced this game really happened.
And what is more frustrating than trying to figure out this game? How I always want to put the "e" before the "o" in the word "Phoenix."
Maybe that should be the players punishment for allowing 88 points Wednesday night. They should each have to write the word "Phoenix" on the chalkboard 100 times.
Nah. They should probably just worry about Marquette. A good win against the Eagles Saturday and most people will probably forget this loss ever happened. Did it?