3.21.2011

Monday Morning Reverie: The Badgered Edition

1. How good weren't the Badgers during their 70-65 victory over Kansas State on Saturday?  K-State out-rebounded Bucky, offensively and defensively.  The Wildcats shot better from three point land (Well... Jacob Pullen did) and better overall.  Wisconsin star Jordan Taylor shot an anemic 2-for-16 from the field and seemed lost at times with his shot selection.

But there are two very important areas that Wisconsin won in the box score: Turnovers and Free Throws.  Kansas State turned the ball over three more times and the Badgers hit four more free throws.  It wasn't pretty, it was gritty.  It had everything a tournament game needed; a star player taking over for Kansas State, bloody post play, big shots and big blocks.

At the end of the day, it was a Bo Ryan team winning in true Bo Ryan fashion.

2. The legend has begun and his name Bruesewitz.  Yes, the player affectionately nicknamed "Bruiser" has been the under-noticed star of the 2011 Wisconsin Badgers.  Big shots and big rebounds, that's what Mike Bruesewitz has done in the tournament so far.

You can't help but love watching a player like Bruesewitz play.  He has such toughness and energy, no flash but he'll be the first player on the floor for a loose ball.  After he committed the immediate comparison was made to Joe Krabbenhoft, another gritty glue player with a knack for hustle plays.

That comparison isn't wrong, but it doesn't do Bruiser justice though.  Krabbenhoft never brought the same sort of energy to the table and never developed as an offensive player.  Bruesewitz has improved drastically from year one to year two, and if a similar improvement is there in year three he could be a star in the college game.

3. Boy howdy, Jordan Taylor was absolutely terrible in Saturday's game.  Sometimes players are just cold but even Taylor's shot selection became questionable after a few ill-conceived drives in the second half.  The best way to judge a point guard like Taylor on a poor shooting day is does he let it effect the rest of his game?  He didn't.

Taylor was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, hitting big free throws in the last minute of the game to help seal the win.  He hit a huge three point basket late to keep Wisconsin in the game.  He had six assists, four rebounds and one pivotal blocked shot of Jacob Pullen's three point try to tie the game.

Jordan Taylor was off on Saturday.  He'll be fine, because even when he's off, he's still on.

4. It's hard to say a match-up with the defending runner-up is a good one for the Badgers next week, but if I'm Wisconsin I would rather see Butler than Pittsburgh every time.  Butler pulled out a very tight game on Saturday, in large part because of some very questionable decision making by the Pitt.

If not for a foul, that game goes to overtime and if that game goes to overtime than I'd be more willing to put my money on the Panthers to win the game than the Bulldogs.  But Butler won and the Badgers will now face an No. 8 seed instead of a No. 1.  It will be no easy task but the Badgers are in prime position to make a very deep run in this year's tournament.

5.  Congratulations should also go out to the ladies in the red sweaters.  The Badger women's hockey team took on Boston University in the National Title game on Sunday and came away with a convincing 4-1 victory.  It's Bucky's fourth since 2005, a very impressive feat.

Leading the way for Wisconsin was Carolyne Prevost, who netted two goals in the contest. The Badgers finished the season on a 27-game unbeaten streak.

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