Win or lose, it's always fun to get the reaction from opposing fans. Whether it's before, during or after the game, the reaction from the opposition is usually polar opposite from the reaction of Badger fans.
For instance, during Saturday's win over Purdue, while Badger fans were both confused and angry about the technical foul called on Rob Wilson late in the first half, the Boilermakers fans over at Hammer and Rails were all over the refs for calling a one-sided affair in favor of Wisconsin.
Last night, a Northwestern fan wrote a comment on the NU blog Sippin' on Purple that said: "We're better than these guys, seriously." Thankfully, another Wildcat fan reminded him that Wisconsin is ranked No. 13 in the country and is probably better than the 'Cats.
So what has the post-game reaction been from the Northwestern side of things? Not very joyful to say the least. In previous years, NU fans would probably be applauding their team for sticking with a No. 13-ranked team for most of the game, but expectations are different this year and last night's game was huge for a team trying to make it to its first NCAA Tournament appearance ever.
The immediate reaction last night from Sippin' on Purple boiled down to one word: "Awful." A day later, they are still angry over there and are ready to bail on the idea of making the NCAA Tournament, even though Bo Ryan said last night that he still has faith in Northwestern's chances.
Sticking with Northwestern coverage of last night's game, the Chicago Tribune's Shannon Ryan continued her run as one of the worst reporters Chicago has ever seen. She writes that Trevon Hughes was just too hot to handle, but she never actually talked to the Badger point guard after the game and she missed the entire story. Ryan writes:
Then Hughes woke up, thanks to some motivation from coach Bo Ryan, who strategically told Hughes an assistant wanted to sit him.
That was enough to shift him into drive.
Bo Ryan did say that to Hughes, jokingly, but Wisconsin's point guard never mentioned that as motivation after the game. As noted in our post-game story last night (and here, and here, and here, and every other recap written by someone who actually talked to Hughes after the game), Hughes said his teammates' encouragement to keep shooting is what finally got him going late.
Ryan also mentions that Wisconsin grabbed the final 12 rebounds in the game before a meaningless NU board with two seconds left, when in fact they only grabbed the final 11 rebounds. She also writes:
I've read this sentence over about 10 times and still can't figure out what is going on. How did Taylor have "another solid outing in place of Leuer in the starting lineup" when this was Taylor's first start in place of Leuer? Or is she trying to say that he just had another solid outing and in this case it came in place of Leuer? This is just getting confusing.
Make sure you check out Luke Winn's well-timed feature about Trevon Hughes on SI.com. He tells the story of how the Queens' native ended up at prep school in Wisconsin. I thought I knew the story, but Winn digs in deep and grabs some great stuff about how Bo Ryan recruited him, why kids from New York were going to St. John's Academy and the history behind Hughes' haircuts. It's really a great piece of writing.
A belated Happy Birthday to Bret Bielema who turned 40 yesterday. In celebration of the big birthday, Madison.com's Jim Polzin couldn't help but bring back one of the great rants about being 40 years old.
Sticking with football O'Brien Schofield will return to Camp Randall South in Orlando to play in the East-West Shrine Game Jan. 23. Madison.com's Tom Mulhern says early projections have Schofield as a second-round pick in this spring's NFL Draft.
Finally, Wrigley Field is getting closer to hosting a Northwestern football game according to the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein after the field was deemed large enough to safely house a game. There are still a number of concerns that need to be worked out, but I have to say that the largest concern should be the size of the locker rooms. I've covered games in both locker rooms at Wrigley Field and they are barely large enough to accommodate a baseball team that has 25 players. How are two college football teams supposed to fit in those locker rooms?