To say Pinnacle Bank Arena was rocking Sunday night would be an understatement. Nebraska upset Wisconsin 77-68, all but assuring the Cornhuskers a berth in the big dance and dashing any hopes the Badgers had of landing a No. 1 seed.
It was the Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway show as they both scored 26 points to lead all scorers in the game. The Badgers had no answer for Shields as he was able to drive into the lane at will and either get to the rim or get put on the foul line. An Achilles heel for the Badgers all season long, Nebraska took advantage of Wisconsin’s poor interior defense.
The game was tightly contested throughout the night as both the Badgers and Cornhuskers traded punches. It really had a tournament-like atmosphere all game long as Nebraska and their fans knew the importance of this game.
Wisconsin committed 11 turnovers in the game and only shot 52.4% from the free throw line. In fact the Badgers missed 10 shots from the charity stripe and failed to convert on a number of key three-point-play opportunities.
Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers in scoring with 14 points, but was hampered with foul trouble.
This game however was about Nebraska wanting it more and Shields and Petteway did not disappoint the home crowd. Shields provided the fireworks in the first half scoring 12 points and hitting almost everything he put up. Petteway on the other hand scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half, hitting some very key free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for Nebraska.
More than likely, this loss will deter Wisconsin from landing a one seed in the NCAA Tournament. The focus for the Badgers will now shift to the Big Ten tournament as once again they have earned a first round bye with a two seed. Wisconsin will play the winner of Minnesota-Penn State on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. CT. Let’s hope Bucky can put this loss behind them and focus on the tournaments that lie ahead.