Usually in these farewell columns, I think I’m supposed to leave you all with some parting words of wisdom from my experience in Madison or something like that.
With March Madness now over and the weather starting to warm, Wisconsin fans’ attention can, at least for the time being, switch back over to the football team. The Badgers are nearly two-thirds of the way through their spring practice schedule, which means that the spring game is on the horizon.
To have the greatest four-year stretch in Wisconsin basketball history end the way it did Friday night feels unfairly cruel and yet, almost heartbreakingly appropriate at the same time. The departing senior class of Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, Vitto Brown and Zak Showalter will hold a special place in Badgers fans’ hearts for years to come given the crucial role they played in the program’s success over the last four seasons.
If you are looking for calm, levelheaded rationalizations as to why Wisconsin maybe deserved to be a No. 8 seed, then you have come to the wrong place.
“I feel like we can run the table, I really do,” said Nigel Hayes, maybe. Well perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch, but Badgers fans, coaches and players alike all had to let out a huge collective sigh of relief after Wisconsin’s convincing 66-49 win over Minnesota Sunday. The victory snapped a three-game skid for UW and a brutal stretch of basketball where it had lost five of six.
Postseason play is only two games away, and the Wisconsin Badgers look like a team with an identity crisis. A loss to Michigan State—the Badgers’ fourth in their last five games—denied them a tie with Purdue atop the Big Ten standings.
At least for the moment, Wisconsin has righted the ship and is back on course toward at least a share of the Big Ten title. Thanks to an emphatic 11-point win over Maryland Sunday afternoon, the Badgers sit tied with Purdue atop the conference standings with only four games left in the regular season.
As little as two weeks ago, it looked like Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan was about ready to lap the field in the Big Ten Player of the Year race. Swanigan has been a double-double machine, is a matchup nightmare for almost any defense and is a bona fide Naismith Trophy candidate.
With roughly one-third of the Big Ten season now completed, the race for the conference title is starting to truly take shape.
Mondays with Rasty: Wisconsin's latest loss another in long pattern of heartbreaking defeats on the big stageBy Zach Rastall | Dec. 5, 2016
The first rule of Wisconsin sports: Never underestimate the team’s ability to build your hopes up and then proceed to shred your soul to smithereens in new and creative ways. Thus was the case on Saturday night in Indianapolis, when the Badgers built up a 28-7 lead, only to see it slowly dissipate as their secondary seemed to forget how to football.