Hoopcap: Northwestern Continues to Haunt Wisconsin
Wisconsin fans made have felt a shade of disrespect on Saturday morning when the College Basketball Tournament committee came out with their top 16, and Badgers were nowhere to be found. Truth be told, Wisconsin has a weak resume at this point due to Big Ten being the worst its been in a long time. Wisconsin didn’t help their case on Sunday night when Northwestern came in and beat Wisconsin for the second straight season pulling off a significant upset.
Ethan Happ’s double-team struggles
One thing I noticed a couple games ago were teams running double teams to Ethan Happ. No one did it as successfully as Northwestern did it on Sunday. They pestered him all game long leading to four Happ turnovers. Wisconsin had as many points in the paint as they did turnovers. That’s not a good thing and won’t win them many games. Look for Wisconsin to figure out new ways to avoid these double-teams in the coming weeks because that’s all Happ is going to see.
As Bronson Koenig goes, the team goes
It’s pretty clear to me and anyone watching that Bronson Koenig is the gas to this car. If he doesn’t have it in the game, Wisconsin probably will lose. Koenig played one of his worst games of the year with only two points missing seven of eight shots including a goose egg from behind three. Badgers cannot have that type of shooting night from Koenig. There’s really no guard to pick him up when he has a bad night like he did versus Wildcats.
Vitto Brown breaks out from slump
One positive for Badgers is Vitto Brown found his outside stroke again. He played a key part in engineering a second-half run for Wisconsin. Brown finished with 11 points plus three deepballs. It’s the most points he’s had in five games, and the most threes he’s hit since a mid-November game against Georgetown. If Brown is back to hitting shots, Wisconsin will be dangerous.
This doesn’t help Badgers case with committee
As we noted the committee treated Wisconsin like a stale fart in the room, and this will not help their cause. Wisconsin is looking at a five or six line from where we stand today, and that’s not what they want nor what Badgers have on their floor talent wise. This week looms large with facing a bubble team on the road plus a good Maryland team that’s near the top of the Big Ten.
Players of the Game: Vitto Brown (Wisconsin), Bryan McIntosh (Northwestern)
Next up: Wisconsin gets a couple days off before heading to Ann Arbor for their second meeting with Michigan. Badgers struggled scoring before they got hot late versus a Wolverines squad who is playing good basketball. They know wins are important, and this is another trouble spot for Wisconsin with Maryland looming on Sunday.