What a run !
The last time the Badgers lost a basketball game has come in over a month. After an important win over Michigan State, Wisconsin got absolutely blasted in Minneapolis. The win over the Spartans seemed to be off straight emotion, but nope ! Wisconsin went on to rattle off eight straight wins. The run was capped off with a win over Indiana at Assembly Hall to claim at least a share of the Big Ten title.
The win came in familiar fashion. A “gritty, not pretty” win. That has been the team motto for the team all year and appropriately so.
Just three days after scrapping together a win over Northwestern, a week after piecing together a win over Minnesota, and over a week after shooting their way to a win over Michigan, they did it again. Wisconsin used a 16-5 run in the final 6:52 to stifle the Hoosiers and pull it off.
The 6:52 mark also saw the return of Micah Potter for the final stretch. Potter played some of his best basketball to lead Wisconsin on their run. Potter did so with four fouls against a tough IU team and officiating that was far from in Wisconsin’s favor.
In that final stretch, Potter bruised his way to an and-one which would tie the game up which would come after his own offensive rebound and after a steal on the defensive end. On the ensuing offensive possession Potter reeled in an offensive rebound and then zipped a pass to Brad Davison who knocked down an ice cold deep ball to give Wisconsin the lead.
The three came with 4:05 left to go. From there, defense would be the name of the game with the next basket coming with 1:18 to go on a D’Mitrik Trice drive.
With Aleem Ford, Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter in foul trouble, Wisconsin’s defense ultimately pulled in the first Big Ten title since 2015. Before the season, Wisconsin was tabbed to finish sixth in the Big Ten.
Even just a month ago, they stood 6-6 in the Big Ten coming off an awful loss at Minnesota. Just ten games into the season they were a measly 5-5 without Micah Potter but have been 16-5 since welcoming Potter, 9-2 since the departure of Kobe King and now have their first Big Ten title since 2015. This title feels much different though. In 2015, Wisconsin was projected to win the title and were one of the best teams in the nation.
This team has been an incredibly resilient bunch. Whether it was the tragic Howard Moore news back from preseason, the NCAA continuing to deny Micah Potter’s waivers, a rough 5-5 start and brutal stretch in November where they lost consecutive games in Brooklyn. Whether it was losing Kobe King, having Brad Davison suspended for a game or having their strength and conditioning coach of seven years, Erik Helland, resign mid-season, this team has been absolutely resilitent.
The win at Indiana perfectly captured the heart and grit of the 2019-’20 Badgers and just how far they’ve come.
Join the Badgers at 4 at the Kohl Center to celebrate the win with the team.