This prediction was already given away in our final Big Ten Tournament bracket, but I'm not liking Wisconsin's chances Friday against Ohio State.
Why? Simply because Wisconsin doesn't have a go-to guy.
The worst part about that reality is that Ohio State does. His name is Evan Turner and he spurned the Badgers for Ohio State.
But Wisconsin won't lose because the Buckeyes have Turner. The Badgers will lose because they don't. They don't even have anything similar to the guy I thought should have won Big Ten Player of the Year.
In six of Wisconsin's 11 losses this season, the Badgers have held a lead with less than three minutes remaining in the game. They've had chances to win a lot of games they eventually lost, mainly because they went on bad shooting droughts at the wrong time. Imagine an Alando Tucker or Devin Harris in the losses at Iowa, at Northwestern, at Marquette, at home against Texas and Purdue and both games against Minnesota. Wisconsin got lost offensively in the closing minutes of all of those games. You could even argue that a go-to scorer could have helped Wisconsin hold on to the lead at Michigan State too.
Now, a few times they did get a clutch shot, namely Trevon Hughes' game winner at Virginia Tech and Jordan Taylor's three at Iowa to send the game into overtime. But remember, Wisconsin allowed Virginia Tech to claw back into the game before Hughes won it and in Iowa City, the Badgers had no offense once they got to overtime.
Friday's quarterfinal against Ohio State is going to be a close game and it's probably going to be one in which the Badgers hold a late lead. Unfortunately they've given up those leads way too many times this season and they don't have the guy to go to when the rest of the team falls back on their heels.
They had their chance at that guy. His name is Evan Turner and he'll be playing for Ohio State.
My prediction: Ohio State 59, Wisconsin 57