BuckyCap: Badgers Stay Hot & Burn Michigan
Wisconsin Badgers are one of the hottest teams in college basketball. Big Ten teams do not win often away from their home digs this season. But Wisconsin did on Thursday night. They took control early and never gave it back. Wisconsin won 81-74, and they’ve kept themselves in the running for a top-four spot in the Big Ten tournament. That is critical as those teams get two days off and will not play until Friday. Badgers have won five straight games, and six of their last seven.
Player of the Game: D’Mitrik Trice – This might have been the best game of Trice’s career. He finished with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting with five three-pointers. Trice was a walking bucket on Thursday night. He also added four assists. While he has had an up-and-down career at Wisconsin, Trice can fill it up when he’s feeling it. This is an example of that. Extra impressive considering that Zavier Simpson gets hyped for being a top Big Ten defender.
Honorable Mention: Aleem Ford – The rise of Aleem Ford is one of the major reasons why Wisconsin continues to have success in the month of February. Ford finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. He tied his career-high that he set a few weeks ago against Purdue. Not sure if Ford got unlocked with the departure of Kobe King, or he finally found his confidence but the dude can play.
One Thing I Liked: Wisconsin never took their foot off the gas – One of the things I have been critical about Wisconsin is their inability to keep their lead at length. Greg Gard took the air out of the ball a bit in a few of the last few games. Gard didn’t do that today. Wisconsin kept Michigan at a distance all game long, and whenever the Wolverines got close, Badgers responded with a basket or two of their own.
Next up: Wisconsin heads home to play their rival Minnesota. The only team that has beaten Wisconsin in recent weeks. Minnesota is a flaming hot mess right now. Gophers blew a double-digit lead to lose by one to Maryland on Wednesday night which likely shattered their NCAA hopes. They’re desperate. KenPom gives Wisconsin a 66 percent chance of winning this one.