Want an overview of the state of Wisconsin athletics? Look no further; we will take you through the Wisconsin teams that are trending up, trending down, and more.
Stock Up ↑
No. 2 Women’s hockey (16-1-1 overall, 8-1-1 WCHA) ↑
Wisconsin’s offense has been on full display the last five games, scoring at least five goals in each contest. This was highlighted by a pair of dominant victories in the Country Classic in Nashville, Tenn.
On Friday, Wisconsin beat Harvard 5-1, and it beat No. 8 Boston College 5-3 on Saturday. Daryl Watts, a transfer from Boston College, scored a goal in each game. Other than that, the scoring was well-distributed for Wisconsin.
No. 1 Minnesota joined Wisconsin in Nashville in playing Harvard and BC, but the Gophers only managed to tie BC.
No. 10 Football (10-2 overall, 7-2 B1G) ↑
♫ (Return of the Axe) here it is ♫
♫ (Return of the Axe) hold on ♫
♫ (Return of the Axe) don’t you know ♫
♫ (You know that I can’t lose) here I go! ♫
Stock Down ↓
No. 7 Wrestling (6-1 overall, 0-1 B1G) ↓
Redshirt senior Johnny Sebastian provided Wisconsin’s lone victory over No. 1 Iowa’s Cash Wilcke. Every other Badger lost in a 32-3 blowout to open B1G play.
I did not necessarily expect Wisconsin to beat Iowa, but I was hopeful that the Badgers would put up more of a fight.
From UWBadgers.com, head coach Chris Bono said, “I’m happy it happened now, we’ve got a couple of months to build on it. Our guys are fighters and they will respond.”
No. 19 Men’s hockey (7-8-1 overall, 2-5-1-1 B1G) ↓
Last week, I said anything less than a sweep of Michigan (5-9-2 overall, 1-6-1-0 B1G) would be a disaster.
And this weekend was. Wisconsin fell behind both games 2-0 and only was able to mount one comeback, winning on Saturday 3-2 and losing on Sunday 3-1.
Head coach Tony Granato has a lot of talent, and frankly he has had talent for a couple of years now. His teams have rarely sustained successful runs and seem to play to the level of their competition, for better or for worse.
Even though it is only early December, time is running out for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament. With 18 games left, the Badgers will need to go at least 10-5-4 and pick up a win or two in the B1G tournament to have a chance. That would roughly match Penn State’s successful at-large bid from 2018.
This type of second half run just doesn’t seem reasonable if the Badgers are going to split home series against last place teams.
Men’s basketball (4-3 overall, 0-0 B1G) ↓
Yeah, but that 2020 recruiting class is dope! Read the recap of losses to Richmond and New Mexico at your own risk.
Holding high ⮣
No. 5 Volleyball (22-6 overall, 18-2 B1G) ⮣
While Wisconsin suffered a reverse sweep at the hands of No. 7 Penn State, but Wisconsin bounced back against Rutgers to win the B1G title. Even better, Wisconsin secured a top four seed in the NCAA tournament; UW’s regional goes through the Field House.
Rock will bring us a preview of this weekend’s first two rounds of the NCAA tournament later. Until then, check out our volleyball coverage from the weekend.
Increased volatility ⟿
Women’s basketball (5-2 overall, 0-0 B1G) ⟿
Wisconsin beat Ball State 67-56 in the first game of the Bahamas Hoopfest on Friday, and it held a 48-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter against Arkansas on Saturday.
However, the Razorbacks (7-1 overall, 0-0 SEC) outscored Wisconsin 26-16 in the fourth quarter to hand Wisconsin a loss.
Overall, Wisconsin had a promising weekend. The Arkansas comeback does not bother me too much, as the Razorbacks hit five of six three pointers to close the game after shooting about 20% from beyond the ark in the first three quarters.
Wisconsin visit Georgia Tech on Thursday at 6 p.m. for the Big Ten / ACC challenge. B1G play starts Dec. 28 against Rutgers.