Top teams fall out of postseason contention
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Ohio State has been a bit of a disappointment this year. Sure, they’re still undefeated and No. 1 in both rankings, but a worrying number of games in which they failed to pull away early has created a sense that they are this year’s Florida State, a defending champ sleepwalking through the regular season and waiting to get exposed by a plucky upstart in the College Football Playoff.
It’s the sequence that some Wisconsin fans have visualized since the 2013 season: Joel Stave is forced out of the game, Bart Houston enters and the highly recruited quarterback from the Class of 2012 starts making it rain while the former walk-on stews on the bench. That’s what plenty of Wisconsin fans saw last Saturday against Illinois. It’s not really what happened, but it’s what people saw.
Like him or not, Wisconsin was an excellent football program when Bret Bielema was at the helm. And it was like that for far longer than those who just want to give credit to Barry Alvarez’s program-building skills would like.
Wisconsin and Alabama square off this Saturday. Here's the kind of reaction you can expect if the Badgers fall to the Crimson Tide.
Since 2001, it’s been death, taxes and Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan. Starting after next season, we'll be back to just death and taxes again.
The nature of massive, state school Division-I athletic departments means that beyond nation- ally competitive football and/or basketball teams, you’re probably going to have a few “minor” programs that rank among the perennially elite in the NCAA. Wisconsin’s men’s cross country is one of those programs.
As the Wisconsin basketball team celebrated earning the first NCAA Tournament 1-seed in program history, unaware of the thrills, laughs and, ultimately, tragedy they would encounter, they were unknowingly cheering another achievement. A far more enduring, and impressive, accomplishment.
Obvious statement: the Angels regret giving Josh Hamilton $125 million. They paid a king’s ransom for three mediocre, injury-plagued seasons and a whole lot of (semi-deserved) bad press. Pro tip to Arte Moreno: Don’t “Mean Girls” a recovering drug addict while trying to use a contract clause that doesn’t exist to recoup money you freely gave to him knowing the risk associated. You’d think they’d teach that in billionaire class.
Maybe it was only a matter of time once he sank that final shot against Arizona, but now, it’s official: Sam Dekker will not play his senior year at Wisconsin.
Sadly, Wisconsin is probably not returning to the Top 5 any time soon. Here are the five teams most likely to open next season at the top of the rankings.
INDIANAPOLIS—No one in the Wisconsin locker room was ready. Not one.
INDIANAPOLIS—If you want to know how tough this game could be, consider what Grantland’s Mark Titus had to say going into the Final Four: that Duke’s best is even better than Kentucky’s best. It’s a decent bet UW will get that best Monday night. Here are all the players you can expect head coach Mike Krzyzewski to use during the game.
INDIANAPOLIS—Wisconsin is loose. They enter a pregame press conference already in a fit of giggles, and eventually pull the rest of the media in with them. It’s at the point where even head coach Bo Ryan is cracking jokes, worrying his guys are “too tense.”
For better or worse, this Kentucky team is going to be remembered for a long time.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the Kentucky roster, it’s worth noting just how deep head coach John Calipari enjoys going into his treasure trove of five-star recruits. If you were to make a list of every player in Saturday’s game and order them by the percentage of minutes played for their team, the Top 5 would be entirely Wisconsin players and spots 6 through 13 would be entirely Kentucky. Wisconsin’s most used lineup is on the court 48.3 percent of the time; Kentucky’s is used just 13.1 percent.
LOS ANGELES—The teams were the same, the round was the same, the region was the same, the next opponent turned out to be the same. Sam Dekker was different.
LOS ANGELES— No one ever said making the Elite Eight was easy. Well, except maybe Kentucky.
The amount of time it takes to read this sentence out loud could save college basketball.