Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Opinion; Spartans Loss Gives Badgers Mental Boost in Title Chase

It’s not time to start singing, ‘ding dong the witch is dead’ just quite yet, but Wisconsin’s pre-season Big Ten Conference ranking of No. 4 looked to have gotten a significant boost, Wednesday night.

Hard to believe that a team with as much character as Wisconsin, would need anything to boost their mental capacity going into the league schedule next month. But they got a few indicators that they might not be No. 4 no more.

The No. 8 ranked Badgers won. It was a game that a whole case of Maybeline would have struggled making pretty, but just ask Bo Ryan, and he’ll tell ya, he’ll take it. Not only that, but he’ll take it every day of the week. And twice on Sunday.

While taking care of Virginia, and upholding their end of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, things went south on the east side of Lake Michigan.

No. 1 ranked Sparty took a night off, and it hurt. An un-ranked UNC team came in and out-played, out-hustled and out-coached the home team en route to a 79-65 spanking.

With the Spartans loss, it’s likely UW takes on a different spoiler roll inside the conference. They might not be as much of a long shot as once imagined.

Wisconsin’s never been much for passing the eye test.

They aren’t flashy, they don’t strike you as an intimidating figure on either end of the floor, but like a caged Irishman coming into a street brawl, they come out with their gloves held to their cheeks and jab, jab, jab.

While National pundits struggle giving Bucky the credit they deserve, you have to wonder how the No. 8 ranked team in the country can be predicted to finish fourth inside their own conference?

Wisconsin’s I94 battle with Marquette this Saturday will be a big indication of what to expect from Bucky for the rest of the season.

Do they believe they can beat anyone? Why sure.

Does their coach believe they can beat anyone? Why sure.

Is a team without a consistent offensive weapon, spotty outside shooting and inconsistent performances from the free throw line in crucial situations capable of beating themselves against anyone? Most definitely.

Wisconsin will continue to always be their own worst enemy. And Bo Ryan and 300 career wins won’t change the way they go about doing things which means until the unforeseen day when the leadership changes hands in Madison, Bucky will always go as far as their defense, free-throw shooting and poise against pressure, takes them.


Tags: Badgers Basketball Big Ten Basketball Bo Ryan Michigan State Spartans UNC

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