BuckyCap: Badgers Surprise Ohio St & Win On Road Again
The great thing about college basketball is the narrative can change on your team as the year goes on. What people thought about your team in the first few weeks of the season can completely change by the end of the year. Sometimes, this is good and other times, it is bad. As for the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team the narrative that they cannot win on the road is dead and buried. Badgers battled back in the second half to beat Ohio State, 61-57, scoring their second straight big road win.
Player of the Game: Nathan Reuvers – He continues to look like the number one option for this team. I said that earlier this year and it holds true. Reuvers finished the game with 17 points and nine rebounds. Most of his work was done at the free-throw line making 12 of 13 from the charity stripe. One thing I’ve been critical with Wisconsin through the years is their inability to get to the line. Reuvers showed how important a good free-throw shooting big man can be.
Honorable Mention: Kobe King – After having a few rough games due to an ankle injury, King battled back in this one with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting. When King is going, Wisconsin is a much better team. He has the chance to be special for Wisconsin as the years go on. The Wisconsin guard finished the day with an offensive rating of 153.
One Thing I Liked: Wisconsin’s three-point defense – All year, Wisconsin struggled to defend the three. This looked like an issue against an Ohio State team that was 7th in KenPom when it came to three-point shooting. That was not the case. Badgers held the Buckeyes to shooting 26% from three. This is a major step for the Badgers defense.
Another Thing I Liked: Badgers’ bench showed up – In years past, Wisconsin struggled with giving production from their entire team. This year could be different. They had 20 points off the bench to Ohio State’s two, and in a tight-scoring game, that can be all the difference. Brevin Pritzl and Tyler Wahl have been major cogs for this team.
Next up: Wisconsin heads home for a matchup with Illinois on Wednesday night. Badges are expected to win by six points. Illini look like they’re a decent team that is not ready to take the next step to the NCAA Tournament. They have a dynamic guard in Kofi Cockburn who Wisconsin will have to stop. Badgers haven’t lost to Illinois since the 2010-2011 season.