NEW YORK — As Brad Davison walked off the court for the final time in the 2017-’18 season, head coach Greg Gard was right by his side. Davison put his left arm around Gard’s right shoulder. Gard reciprocated, draping his right arm on his freshman point guard’s heavily wrapped left.
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NEW YORK — As Brad Davison’s game-tying 3-point attempt fell inches short of the front of the rim at the buzzer, he dropped his hands to his knees. Despite his best effort to close the game, the Badgers (8-12 Big Ten, 15-18 overall) couldn’t squeak past the top-seeded Michigan State Spartans (17-2, 29-3), as they ran out of gas at Madison Square Garden, falling 63-60 in the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Tournament.
Freshman guard Brad Davison shot just 4-of-14 from the field as his phenomenal freshman season came to an end in a 60-63 loss to No. 1-seed Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament.
NEW YORK — Five days ago, when the Wisconsin men’s basketball team fell at home to Michigan State, Brad Davison addressed the team. The freshman guard, fresh off a career-high 30 points, told them not to worry: “They’d rather beat them next week, anyways.”
NEW YORK — With a split bottom lip, junior forward Khalil Iverson made what might have been the most important defensive play of Wisconsin’s season. The Badgers led by just three points with 5.6 seconds to go in the game. Maryland had possession of the basketball and a chance to potentially tie the score.
NEW YORK — For the sixth game in a row, as Brad Davison jogged out of the locker room onto the court, he left behind a message in all caps on the team’s whiteboard: “BE SPECIAL.”
NEW YORK — When junior forward Khalil Iverson was fouled with less than one second to play and Wisconsin (8-11 Big Ten, 15-17 overall) leading by five points, freshman guard Brad Davison’s hands shot to the sky in excitement. Seconds earlier, with UW leading by only three, Iverson made what was the Badgers’ biggest play of the season, intercepting an errant Maryland (8-11, 19-13) inbound pass to help Wisconsin advance to the third round of the Big Ten Tournament.
NEW YORK — The Wisconsin locker room seemed dejected as players entered and drooped down in their black fold-up chairs. UW had just suffered its worst home loss since the Kohl Center was built to Ohio State and little did it know that, just a few hours later on Dec. 3, the football team’s College Football Playoff chances would be slashed at the hands of the very same university they had laid an egg against earlier that day.
Lilly Kuske sits on her bed with her head buried in her hands. She’s not an emotional person, but tonight the tears won’t stop. They swim down her cheeks and fall from her chin, darkening the red of her favorite Wisconsin sweatshirt. Florida’s Chris Chiozza has just ended the Badgers’ season with a desperation, buzzer-beating three in the NCAA Tournament.
'We'd rather beat them next week, anyways': Davison scores career-high 30 points, but UW falls to MSU
"We'd rather beat them next week, anyways."
No matter how many times freshman guard Brad Davison clapped his hands on defense, let out fist pumps to the crowd on offense or hit highly contested jumpers, No. 2 Michigan State (16-2 Big Ten, 28-3 overall) refused to go away.
In late January, when Wisconsin (7-10 Big Ten, 14-16 overall) fell to No. 2 Michigan State (15-2, 27-3), a talented trio of Spartan frontcourt players proved too much to handle for the undersized Badgers. Even in potential moments of UW positivity, success still came at a cost. When Michigan State’s 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward Nick Ward barreled into Wisconsin’s 6-foot-10, 215-pound Nate Reuvers for one of Ward’s four fouls, Reuvers certainly remembered the consequences.
Andy Van Vliet has spent the majority of the 2017-’18 season playing on Wisconsin’s practice scout team. He’s battled Ethan Happ, Aleem Ford and Nate Reuvers on both ends of the floor and waited for his opportunity to shine.
As the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (6-10 Big Ten, 13-16 overall) prepares for its final road trip of the season, Khalil Iverson finds his role perpetually growing. Once a wide-eyed freshman pitching in just 2.6 points per game, Iverson’s seen his contribution more than triple as the Badgers continue to search for production on both ends of the court.
Last fall, when Bronson Koenig arrived at the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota and exited the trailer that he and his brother Miles had driven 14 hours in, it was nearly midnight. But as he got out of the vehicle in the dead of night, a man from behind was still able to recognize the then-Wisconsin Badger guard.
On the first day of February, Brevin Pritzl missed all eleven of his shots in an eight-point loss to Northwestern. Monday night, Pritzl proved that the shooting woes that had plagued him less than three weeks ago were behind him.
If there was any hangover from the Wisconsin Badgers’ (6-10 Big Ten, 13-16 overall) massive upset of Purdue Thursday night, it missed Brad Davison. The freshman guard scored 14 of UW’s first 18 points Monday night as he, alongside redshirt sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl, powered the Badgers past Minnesota (3-13, 14-15) 73-63.
The Wisconsin men’s basketball team (5-10 Big Ten, 12-16 overall) has seen more than its fair share of downs in what has turned out to be one of its most disappointing seasons in recent memory.
Following Wisconsin's upset victory over Purdue, Daily Cardinal sports editor Ben Pickman and men's basketball beat writer Thomas Valtin-Erwin break down what UW's victory really means for the team going forward. They discuss if the Badgers have had a truly disappointing season, what Wisconsin's future looks like and they end the show by playing a trivia game about the last time Wisconsin didn't make the NCAA Tournament.
In many ways, Frank Kaminsky was a perfect storm of basketball ability. We can only speculate what the basketball gods were thinking as they poured pinpoint passing, lights-out shooting and sensational footwork into the former Badger’s seven-foot frame. Frank the Tank was a special talent.