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Friday, March 28, 2008

Beat Those Wildcats ... Again

Davidson College famously offered free transportation for the 648-mile trip to tonight's game in Detroit, along with paid tickets and lodging, but only about 350 students will be making the bus trip due to the short-term logistics. Conversely, the Kohl Center is 406 miles from Ford Field, so you've got to hope for a large UW contingent to make up for all the Kansas, Villanova and Davidson fans cheering for the Wildcats in what could be one of the largest crowds ever to see an NCAA Regional game. Diverted traffic will be wreaking havoc on Motown's motorists this weekend, but the thick, unwelcome snow that fell last night hopefully has not kept the Badger faithful from arriving safely in town.

Much has been made of the cavernous atmosphere of Ford Field. Incidentally some have speculated whether something similar is a factor behind Wisconsin's success within the Kohl Center. Much ado about nothing I say. There will be a few constants in this Badger game: Flowers will D up and Curry will still get his shots off (although, didn't you notice, he is on a downward scoring trend? 40, then 30, now ... 20?!)

When it comes down to the strategy, you know Bo is sticking to his plan. Touch the post. It should be Brian Butch's world tonight, with everyone else just a guest. The truly remarkable story will be if Wisconsin can win the game and Butch doesn't have his national coming out party tonight. In that case, one of the other Badgers will have stepped up at the game's tipping point, because without Butch blowing up, this one is going down to the wire. But my money is on Butch; I just feel it. The state will be giddy to advance one its favorite native sons to the Elite 8 in his final trip around the block.

: : :

After reviewing the highlights of Benilde-St. Margaret's quarterfinal victory, I can see why Jordan Taylor nailed so many treys: no perimeter defense. Without seeing the whole game, maybe his attacks to the hoop were so devastating that the other team laid off, I dunno. Taylor did shoot 16-of-18 from the charity stripe and fouled out his defender after all. It was more of the same Thursday night as BSM advanced to the Class 3A championship game with a 100-70 waxing of Minneapolis Patrick Henry.

"We wanted to put our foot on their throat and not let up," Taylor said.

With the win, the Red Knights earned a Saturday rematch with St. Thomas Academy in a repeat of last year's final game.

Mike Bruesewitz notched an impressive 18/16 double-double to lead Henry Sibley into the Class 4A title game on Saturday. He also won the match of wits with uber-talented Rodney Williams. I don't think the Warriors will be intimidated at all by Minnetonka in the championship. This should be a nice comparison of prep hoops between Wisconsin and Minnesota since Madison Memorial spanked Minnetonka earlier this year. Needless to say, I was not that impressed with the Skippers at the time.

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