It all seemed to be going too well for the Wisconsin basketball team. The Badgers had won three consecutive games by at least 22 points and were improving immensely down the final stretch of the regular season. The tough defense had always remained the constant through conference play, but the offense began to click better than it had all season.
Then, Purdue happened.
I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised by the loss. Historically under head coach Bo Ryan, the Badgers tend to somehow pull off marquee wins against top-tier teams and follow it with a flat performance against a sub-par team. We witnessed this earlier in conference play when the Badgers knocked off Indiana in its only home loss of the season, but they followed it up with an ugly loss at Iowa.
I tend to think the Badgers' latest gaff is nothing more than an aberration. It was simply one half of bad basketball. They became complacent, and oddly enough, put up a lackluster defensive performance as well. Regardless, the loss to Purdue is probably the Badgers worst of the season, and so it will certainly have a negative impact on Wisconsin's seed in the NCAA tournament.
Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal wrote an article this morning, analyzing how the loss affects the Badgers' NCAA tournament seed going forward.
On the bright side, the Badgers still face a top-tier opponent in Michigan State on Thursday and will have a great opportunity to pick up more marquee wins in the Big Ten Tournament. But the loss to Purdue puts more pressure on the Badgers to pick up a few more wins -- not just to improve their NCAA Tournament seed, but to secure a high seed and first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament, as well.
Future Badger forward Nigel Hayes throws down a nasty dunk in a high school game.
Sam Dekker was named Big Ten co-freshman of the week.
Wisconsin's Pro Day takes place on campus this Wednesday afternoon.
Head coach Gary Andersen takes full responsibility for hiring assistant coach Jay Boulware and losing him to Oklahoma.
UW basketball fell five spots this week in both the AP and USA Today polls.
Wisconsin basketball also slipped in BTN.com's power rankings.