Sconnie Sports Talk

Wisconsin upsets #8 Iowa to solidify current NCAA tournament position


The Badgers may have officially booked their ticket to the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday night.

Behind an incredible team effort in Iowa City, the Badgers upset #8 Iowa, 67-59. The Hawkeyes came into the game undefeated at home this season, but the Badgers stuck with them, despite a career game from Iowa’s Adam Woodbury (6 points, 18 rebounds).

In the first half, Wisconsin got 21 points outside of Nigel Hayes, Ethan Happ, and Bronson Koenig, as Khalil Iverson, Vitto Brown, and Jordan Hill each scored 7 points. Iverson had two emphatic dunks, Brown was doing the little things, and Hill was active on defense with two big steals. The Badgers struggled to guard Peter Jok, who scored 17 points in the first half. Jarrod Uthoff, guarded by Happ, picked up his second foul at the 6:31 mark and only scored 4 points in 10 minutes in the first half. Iowa had 7 offensive rebounds at halftime, with Woodbury getting all he wanted, registering 8 total rebounds (4 offensive, 4 defensive). Wisconsin went into halftime with a 35-34 lead. 

Iowa came out on a 7-0 run in the second half, as Wisconsin had four empty possessions. At 17:34, Greg Gard took a timeout. Zak Showalter snapped the Iowa run, but the Hawkeyes quickly went out to a six-point lead. Then, Hayes hit a three, followed by a Happ steal and timeout on a veteran play. 

Koenig hit a three-pointer out of the timeout to tie it at 51-51, and Wisconsin seemed in control after that. To take the lead at 53-51, Iverson had the dunk of the year. That play electrified the team, and Wisconsin never looked back.

The X-factor matchup was Showalter on Jok. Showalter held Jok to 1-6 from the field for 4 points in the second half, while Showalter had 7 points and 5 rebounds in the last 20 minutes. Showalter was all over Jok, and Iowa had almost no flow to their offense in the second half, shooting 27%. The Badgers also shut down former Badger Jarrod Uthoff to 3-12 shooting for 11 points.

When Hayes was struggling, Wisconsin’s other role players stepped up, namely Brown, Hill, and Iverson. Koenig finished with a team-high 15 points and added 4 assists, serving as the floor general Wisconsin needed. Charlie Thomas came in for valuable minutes too, taking energy out of Woodbury and the rest of Iowa, which was a great coaching move by Gard.

Game Notes

Wisconsin (18-10, 10-5) takes on Michigan (20-9, 10-6) in another huge matchup on Sunday night at 5:00 PM.

Photo courtesy of AP.