It's either a shocking upset or an angry, gut-check bounce back game.
Running Diary? I think so ...
7:56 - Will the game really get bumped by a women's game? Geez, I hope not.
8:03 - Yup. We've been treated to three timeouts, numerous fouls and an atrocious flop job that fooled an incompetent ref into awarded three free throws.
8:08 - Now we're looking live at Madison, Wisconsin. Luckily for ESPN, the coaches kept UW ranked #23 in this week's poll, so there's at least a smidgen of promotional value. Since we missed the tip, I have to consult the web to see if Bo Ryan indeed made his first starting lineup change of the year. Bohannon and Flowers are in for the senior redwoods, Butch and Stiemsma.
8:11 - Since nothing is happening, it seems like a good time to mention the Badgers are wearing throwback uniforms from the 1941 NCAA Champion squad. Someone forgot to tell UW that they don't have to play like it's still 1941.
8:13 - First basket for Wisconsin comes at the 15:32 mark on a J-Bo trey, bookended by two traveling violations by Wofford. Brutal on both sides right now.
8:21 - Though it's been slow, the Badgers are now outscoring the New England Patriots! A steal and layup by Trevon Hughes sparks a mini-rally from the team. Some good defense underneath stymies some reckless, aggressive play by Wofford, then Butch scores on a nice post move. I hope to see a lot more of that tonight. Jon Leuer, getting inserted early this game as expected, looks especially skinny in the striped throwback socks.
8:27 - Wisconsin is already in the bonus with more than 11 minutes to play. Ah, business as usual. Hughes sinks two. UW 13, W 5.
8:28 - Nice up and under drive by Flowers. That's the way I like to see him play -- need more of it for the Badgers to be successful.
8:31 - J-Bo like butter over an outstretch defender's hand. Nothing but net. The Badgers feed Leuer in the post and he abuses his man and gets the roll. The kid has up, Up, UPSIDE! UW 23, W 10.
8:36 - As soon as I type it, Leuer gets himself into a bad position on defense and pretends to hold his ground while shuffling, arms raised, into a defender. The result? A three-point play, of course. UW 25, W 13.
8:37 - Flowers again gets into the lane and delivers a bounce pass to Landry for the two-handed flush.
8:38 - Facing no resistance, Butch puts up a weak flailing miss with one hand instead of a drop step and dunk. Color analyst Stephen Bardo of Flyin' Illini fame actual calls him on it. Nice work. Stiemsma immediately checks in for first time.
8:41 - Wisconsin settles for a 3-pointer from Krabbenhoft. The shot looks slightly forced and rims out but J-Bo swoops in with a gentle tip-in for the score. He is playing really well, with 10 points so far. Looks like a different player.
Wisconsin is shooting A LOT of threes in the first half. Stiemsma finds himself all alone with the rebound after a Flowers miss from long-distance and decide to bank it home. C'mon Greg. In the words of the immortal Bill Walton, "Throw it down big man!"
8:49 - And now, the Steamboat totally redeems himself with a picture-perfect bounce pass from the top of the key to Krabby for a back-door layup. He continues to impress me as a passer; he may be the second-best on the team behind Hughes.
On the other end, Stiemsma swats a shot from behind, but then fails to call for the ball on offense when he was miles from anyone other than his puny defender. Unacceptable. The Badgers need to enforce this will on all teams, let alone Wofford, by identifying and exploiting those few seconds of a clear mismatch. He didn't even put his arms up, in defense of the ball handler, but perhaps Stiemsma figured he'd never get that pass anyway.
Bonus Bardo: He just suggested that Kansas State's Michael Beasley be renamed Michael "Beast-ley." I've heard him made that reference three times already during different Big Ten games this young season. I guess we know Bardo's 2008 campaign platform.
9:53 - Drew Gibson nails a 28-footer right before the buzzer to bring Wofford within 38-20 at halftime.
At halftime, we're informed that Indiana's Eric Gordon injured his back today and sat out the second half of another Hoosier victory. Hopefully nothing serious, because we only have a year to watch this kid before he bolts to the Association.
: : : Second Half
9:09 - Butch is still O-fer from 3-point land but breaks toward the hoop hard and gets the ball back from Krabby for a moster slam.
9:11 - Wofford's leading scorer Corey Godzinksi fouls out!!! The second half is only a minute and a half old! Honestly, it was a very weak call. At least he sandwiched a 3-pointer in between his fourth and fifth hacks.
9:13 - At 17:58, Junior Salters of Wofford runs into and knocks over Stiemsma, who was trying to cut off Salters' progress to the hoop. Stiemsma tries to subtly scissor lock Salters legs while still on the floor and a broo-haha ensues. I know Salters made a movement or two to antagonize the big guy in the whole ordeal, but the replays were not kind to Stiemsma and the elbow shove he delivered at the end. It results in a double foul and a technical for Stiemsma. In a related piece of trivia, which Badger appeared as Hulk Hogan at the team's Night of the Grateful Red introduction? You guessed it.
9:23 - Because of the score, the announcing team has the time to detail how Wisconsin's 1941 team only had to win two games to win the NCAA tournament. Great, thanks guys. Really. Kick us while we're down.
9:25 - Hughes hits the deck hard after a blocked shot attempt that result in a foul and Pop leaving the game. He looks like he'll be fine luckily. Noah Dahlman from Wofford has the ugliest free throw form in the nation this year. The wind-up is underhand (with the right hand), the rest is straight out of the Bill Cartwright handbook. Somehow, this guy is Minnesota's all-time leading prep rebounder.
9:30 - The crowd is noticeably restless as Wofford cuts into the lead. Luckily Krabby goes baseline for a contested reverse with 12:33 remaining that puts Bucky back up, 48-31.
After a Landry bucket in the post, again we are subject to comments about the switch from power forward to small forward. Who cares?! This is supposed to be the swing offense. If Landry is a small forward now, that's an even bigger reason to feed him the rock in the post. No small forward can handle him there.
Broadcast Bonus: The Boston Celtics/Hoosiers commercial. Still not getting old, because Jeff Van Gundy is an all-time classic.
9:35 - Another good vs. bad sequence: Leuer is defending a guard and even though he gets beat, is long enough to recover and alter the pass, resulting in a Wofford turnover. Landry winds up with the ball, but opts not to pass to Krabbenhoft on the fast break. Therefore, Landry gets caught from behind, fouled and cannot convert.
9:43 - The crowd is crowing loudly whenever Wofford's #23 (Marcus Jackson) gets the ball. Not sure why, but it's good to hear something original coming from the student section.
9:37 - Leuer misses three bunnies in rapid succession, padding his stats in a Charles Smith/Lance Wade type of way. The next trip down, he is blocked by a guard at point-blank range after a no-look dish by Hughes. Ouch ... baby steps ...
9:40 - There is 9:07 left and the Badgers have 55 points. There's no reason UW shouldn't have posted 90 in this one.
9:46 - Salters ends a 13-0 Badger run with a 3-pointer. UW 61, W 34.
9:49 - With about six minutes to go, Gully is getting some run ahead of of Keaton. Frustrating.
9:51 - Interesting attendance stat shown on the tube: Wisconsin's sellout crowd tonight (17,190) is larger than last season's total home attendance at Wofford, by about 2,000.
9:53 - Garbage time begins with 3:17 remaining. Bo calls a timeout to get Tanner, Gavinski and Jarmusz in to join Nankivil and Leuer. Four from the freshman class and one senior. Whitewash alert!
Notes: Wisconsin gets outscored in garbage time. Gavinski is soooo S - L - O -W ... Jarmusz with a hoop, but misses both of his FTs ... Tanner pounds the dribble to wind down the final seconds. C'mon ...
Wisconsin wins, 70-43, extending the nation's third-longest win streak to 28 games. The Badgers shoot 3-of-13 on 3-pointers, but still shoots 47% [box score]
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Monday, December 3, 2007
It's either a shocking upset or an angry, gut-check bounce back game.