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.
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve checked in on the UW athletics market report. Sorry about that, but we have a bit to talk about. Let’s dive in.
Stock Up ↑
Men’s basketball (10-6 overall, 3-2 B1G) ↑
This season was on life support after a three-game losing streak between November 25 and December 4.
However, since then, Wisconsin is 6-2 and is back in the NCAA tournament conversation. Yes, this stretch has included a few tough losses to Rutgers and Illinois, but those are shockingly not that bad of losses.
On the other hand, the six wins were very impressive, especially road wins over Tennessee, No. 5 Ohio State, and No. 20 Penn State.
This is still a flawed team, but it is starting to play quite a bit better. Isn’t that all you can ask after a 4-4 start?
Stock Down ↓
Women’s hockey (21-2-1 overall, 11-2-1 WCHA) ↓
Out of the break, Wisconsin won three of four games, all out of town. However, in this four-game stretch, the Badgers defense has struggled, giving up 2.25 goals per game. It took overtime to beat a quality yet inferior Northeastern team, and the Badgers split the series against Bemidji State.
A little bit of home cooking is in order to continue to return this machine.
Women’s basketball (9-7 overall, 1-4 B1G) ↓
Like most seasons, the Big Ten schedule served as a wake-up call for the Badgers.
With Wisconsin playing with a more talented roster and the B1G having a down season, I was hopeful that Wisconsin would have a chance to climb up to the middle of the conference.
However, a five-game stretch against unranked B1G teams has been a challenge, and Wisconsin sits at only 1-4. Wisconsin certainly could turn this around, but it appears that a resurgence is at least a year away.
Increased volatility ⟿
For the first time in the Paul Chryst era, the Badgers are heading into the off-season on a losing streak. While there is a lot of uncertainty ahead, there is also a lot of reason for excitement.
For one, the loss of Quintez Cephus, Jonathan Taylor and Tyler Biadasz to the NFL draft will be a difficult loss. These three were a huge portion of the Badgers offense in 2019, and thir departure will be difficult to replace.
On the other hand, the 2020 recruiting class is very strong, and Wisconsin recently picked up a commitment from Jalen Berger to add to an already excellent recruiting class.
The Badgers might take a step forward the next four years similar to the years following Melvin Gordon’s departure. Or, it takes a step back like the early 2000s after Ron Dayne left. I understand that this is not incredible insight, but my point is that I have no clue what the new decade will bring.
Wrestling (8-2 overall, 1-2 B1G) ⟿
So this is a tough one. The Badgers have a lot of talent but play in a terribly difficult conference. The opening slate to the B1G schedule is as tough as it gets: at No. 1 Iowa, at No. 15 Minnesota and home against No. 2 Nebraska.
Wisconsin dropped the first two in B1G play, but picked up a nice victory over Nebraska on Sunday. And, it produced this nice moment:
Staying down ⮡
Men’s hockey (8-11-1 overall, 3-8-1 B1G) ⮡
Wisconsin came off the break to split with Ohio State, the B1G leader in the clubhouse. Perhaps this should be a positive for a team that has had a long stretch of down years. Perhaps this should be a shining point of pride for a last place team.
No, not for this program. Not for this brand.
I have been asking for a while, “is Tony Granato on the hot seat?”
The answer to this question is usually, “no, he’s got a lot of young talent, they’re going to be great.”
I leave you with this question. How bad does this need to get for Granato to get on the hot seat?