The signature win over Michigan proved Wisconsin Basketball can compete with the best.
Dan Dakich said at the end of the Wisconsin Basketball upset of the Michigan Wolverines that he thought the better team won that day. Maybe Wisconsin isn’t better than Michigan most other days, but that was the case Saturday afternoon in the Kohl Center.
Most national talking heads will suggest Michigan lost the game because they simply shot poorly on offense. The Wolverines made just over 40% of their shots on the day and only 5-18 of their threes. Ignas ‘Iggy’ Brazdeikis was Michigan’s leading scorer heading into the matchup and was held to zero points too. The Badgers earned the win on defense.
That’s the important part of this. The Badgers earned the win. They finally put together a full 40 minutes of basketball without spotting the opposition a large lead and going cold for extended periods of time. Basketball doesn’t always work this way, but Wisconsin was able to play a complete game. And when Wisconsin plays a complete game, it can beat anybody in the country.
We don’t have to talk about Ethan Happ anymore. He’s great and he’s going to be great against anybody. The rest of the team showed up, and that’s what was missing from so much of the previous handful of games. Brad Davison and D’Mitrik Trice didn’t light the world on fire in this game. But Kobe King and Aleem Ford both made huge shots and contributed off the bench. It had been a while since the back end of the rotation had made such an impact on a game. It’s no surprise that when it finally did, the Badgers won a huge game.
The Badgers have a chance to get things rolling against a very beatable opponent in Illinois tonight as the Illini aren’t yet clicking under Brad Underwood. This game comes at the perfect time for the Badgers. Big games against Maryland and Michigan State (both at home) loom, but Bucky needs to take care of the Illinois’ and Northwestern’s of the world.
If the Badgers can do just that, there’s no reason to think they can’t beat Maryland and give Michigan State, one of the hottest teams in the country, a great game. And who knows? Maybe Wisconsin will even win. There’s no reason not to believe it’s not a possibility.
It’s only one game, but Wisconsin played some of the best basketball we’ve seen all year this weekend. And they reaffirmed that they’re good enough to hang with anybody in the country.