Life can be pretty brutal in the Big Ten. After flying high coming off back-to-back wins over ranked opponents in Illinois and Indiana, the Badgers were knocked off their high horses Saturday evening by the Hawkeyes. It doesn't get any easier as they return home to face three more ranked opponents, starting with 13th-ranked Michigan State.
UW laid a serious egg in Iowa City, but with Kaminksy out of the lineup -- and Berggren in foul trouble -- the Badgers were forced to play small lineups for much of the game. With the Spartans coming to town Tuesday night, the Kaminsky factor could play an even larger role. He's still out indefinitely after taking a nasty shot to the eye during the Indiana game, and Michigan State's size in their frontcourt poses matchup problems for most teams, but the Badgers could be in serious trouble if they're down a big man for a second straight game.
As if losing Gasser, having Bruesewitz endure multiple injuries, and Kaminsky out of the lineup wasn't enough already, George Marshall's status is now in question as well. Marshall did not practice Monday due to illness and his status for the Michigan State game is also uncertain. Of course, Marshall is coming off his best performance at UW, in which he scored a career-high 20 points and kept the Badgers competitive until the end of the Iowa game.
The road ahead is already daunting for Wisconsin, but these hits to the depth chart are taking a toll and making the journey that much more difficult.
Tuesday's (Late Lunch) Links: (sorry, they're a bit late today)
Remember when the Badgers hosted Michigan State at home last year? Jeff Potrykus flashes back to that bizarre ending at the Kohl Center.
Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne lead an imposing Spartan frontcourt.
Bret Bielema defends himself on Twitter (and makes a fool of himself while he's at it).
Jim Polzin offers a brief preview of tonight's game.
It's going to be a tough week in Madison with Michigan State and Minnesota coming to town.