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Badgers blow another lead, lose to Gophers

A surprisingly candid Bo Ryan said it all after Wisconsin's latest mind-numbing loss--a 51-46 defeat to the Gophers at Williams Arena.

"I don't know if we had anything left, to be honest with you," he said.

True or not, the numbers certainly back that statement up. After erasing a 7-point halftime deficit, Wisconsin grabbed a 46-41 lead on a Trevon Hughes free throw with 2:49 left in the game.

That would be Wisconsin's last point of the game. The Gophers--check that, Lawrence Westbrook--went on a 10-0 run and Minnesota went on to win 51-46.

It was the sixth time in Wisconsin's 11 losses the Badgers held a lead with under three minutes left in the game. And it was the second time they have blown a lead in the final minute to Gophers this season, giving Minnesota a tiebreaker that could end up leaving the Badgers playing a Thursday game in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2000.

Not unlike Minnesota's comeback at the Kohl Center Jan. 15, it was Lawrence Westbrook that led the charge. Wisconsin could not stop the junior guard, who did not start the game after Tubby Smith aimed to shake up the guard play. In four of his last six games, Westbrook had failed to score more than four points.

It was looking like another sub par night for Westbrook who had only five points with under three minutes to go. But he scored the Gophers' final 10 points and left the Badgers in the dust.

Wisconsin now stands at 9-8 in the Big Ten, leaving it in a 3-way tie with Minnesota and Ohio State for the No. 5 seed. This 3-team tiebreaking scenario would leave the Badgers as the No. 7 seed.