Buckeye Watch - Wisconsin
By Tony Gerdeman
The Buckeyes finally lose. Oh well. It was fun
while it lasted. Heck, it was even fun while it was
There was some improbable basketball going on in the second half of
this game, starting with Ohio State's improbable 15-point lead, and
finishing with Wisconsin's improbable comeback.
Yet it all led to something that was entirely probable--a Wisconsin victory.
Two wrongs may not make a right, but two improbabilities evidently make a probability.
But don't get too down on Ohio State. A loss has a way of
focusing a team that isn't used to losing. Expect this to be the
case for the Buckeyes. Somebody finally make them bleed their own
blood, and they're not going to be happy about it.
Don't expect the Badgers to take a 15-point lead when they come to
Columbus later in the season, and don't expect any rushing of the
court. Beating Wisconsin is an annual occurrence. Like the
And nobody rushes the court because of the harvest.
12:53 The Big Ten Network is showing
the Wisconsin game from 2007. They are sufficiently building and
reaffirming my Badger hate. Lousy weasels. The badger is also known
as “the coward of the forest”. You probably didn't even know
that, did you? Maybe you should read a book some time.
1:00 The last nine ranked teams to
come into the Kohl Center have lost. Frankly, I'll be very surprised
if that streak ends today. Though I am admittedly getting more
confident in Ohio State's chances as the game draws closer. Still, I
have zero faith in officials to let a game be decided solely by
basketball and talent. I'm not saying there's bias, I'm just saying
1:58 Everybody on ESPN's Gameday show
apparently picked the Badgers. On the Big Ten Network show, only one
of the four analysts—the national writer, picked Wisconsin. Is the
Big Ten Network smarter than ESPN? I guess this game will decide it.
2:07 Dick Vitale is in the house.
Twenty years ago I would have killed for this. Now I may actually kill
because of this.
on. David Lighty is wearing some tape on his left wrist. I
don't know what that means. I mean, I know what it normally
means, I just don't know what it means in terms of Lighty specifically.
2:11 Both teams are
just feeling eachother out right now. Like a fight between rival
chess players. Each of them trying to inch closer to the
scorekeeping clock thingy in order to throw it at the opponent and then
run away screaming for security.
2:12 One of
the more frustrating aspects of Dick Vitale doing a game is that his
microphone is down so low, you have to struggle to listen to him.
Why should I have to struggle to listen to somebody I'm not really
interested in listening to? This is ESPN in a nutshell.
They give me what I don't want, and then somehow make me want it.
It's reverse psychology.
Jordan Taylor's first three-pointer of the game. Badgers lead 8-4
after four minutes. Buckeyes need to withstand the first twelve
minutes, and then the rest of the clock will sort of melt into itself.
Buford has forced three shots in a row, and only made one. The
ball needs to move around. He just forced his fourth in a row,
but made a five footer. Badgers lead it 10-6.
Sullinger gets the ball down low for the first time and the Badgers
don't send a double team. He scores. The double will come
Craft just stoned Jordan Taylor on an entire possession. Wouldn't
let him get the ball for most of the possession, then Taylor forces an
airball three at the end of the shot clock. Craft 1 - Taylor 0.
just aren't as patient as the Badgers are right now. But then for
Wisconsin, shooting the ball is almost an admission of weakness.
makes his first two free throws to cut Wisconsin's lead to 12-11.
That extra work for Jared has paid off apparently.
Taylor finally draws a foul at the end of the shot clock on
Craft. But at least the freshman got his money's worth on that
hack, coming down on Taylor like a hammer. He missed his first
free throw, so maybe he was still feeling it a bit.
forces a travel on Taylor one possession after forcing another airball
at the end of the shot clock. The world's known superlatives are
inadequate for Craft at the moment.
essentially seen two different games since Craft came in the
game. I think Wisconsin has one field goal in that stretch.
Now they need to capitalize on offense.
2:37 There's a
shot clock issue right now. The officials are over at the
scorer's desk. I'm sure they'll get this fixed. Like
Keystone Kops examining a crime scene. "This boot print in the
blood looks just like my boot print! Oooh, gross. How did
this blood get on my boot? Is my foot bleeding?!?"
lead it 19-15 with 5:40 to play in the half. Perfect tempo for
the Badgers. Like halfcourt basketball at the YMCA.
2:39 A block
and a steal and layup on consecutive plays for David Lighty. The
winningest player in the history of the Big Ten. He's got about
80 more wins than Red Grange, for what it's worth.
Badgers have hit their last three three-pointers. Time to extend
the defense a little bit. Wisconsin is up by five.
2:43 It's time for the three-point game to show up for Ohio State. Jon Diebler, come out and play-ay.
Buford is starting to heat up. Two straight baskets out of the
timeout. Keep taking good shots, and don't start forcing heat
Nice. Sullinger just got hit in the head, no call. He gets
a bit of a hip into a flopper, and it gets called. Now
Sullinger may have just been forced to flop himself in order to get a
call. If the refs aren't going to call the real stuff, then just
make it up as you go.
ties the game at 26-26 with a three pointer with a minute to play in
the half. Been up and down a bit for him this half, but mostly
up. However, they have nobody that can stay with him, so if he
can keep getting looks, he may as well keep taking them. As long
as he's making them, of course.
2:49 Badgers turn it over and the Buckeyes get the last possession of the half. They'll have 34.0 seconds to work with.
Buckeyes run the weave for 28 seconds before David Lighty drives the
lane, scoops and scores to give Ohio State the lead at the end of their
half. It's their first lead of the half. 28-26 Buckeyes.
2:51 Bo Ryan
says the Buckeyes are fouling his ball-handlers and they need those to
start getting called in the second half. Goats also think sharks
should be a little bit more choosy in what they eat.
3:01 There has
only been one offensive rebound in this game. That's some pretty
good boxing out from two disciplined, well-coached teams.
3:02 So far
only William Buford has attempted a three-pointer. I would not be
surprised to see some plays designed for Jon Diebler early on.
3:05 Might be
one of those games where Aaron Craft starts the second half.
Dallas Lauderdale may not get too many minutes today. It's not a
good matchup with him chasing the Badger bigs.
3:07 Game on. Badgers open it with a made jumper early in the shot clock. What's going on? Craft is starting, by the way.
just went right to the basket and hit a fader in the paint. Seems
like anybody in a scarlet jersey can get into the paint. They
just need to finish.
my! Aaron Craft flew by his man on the baseline and dropped it to
Sullinger who got undercut and made the basket! What?
They're calling a jump ball? After looking at the replay there
were indeed two hands on the ball, but by that measure, every time
there are two hands on a ball, it should be a jump ball, and that's
simply not the case. Still Buckeye ball. No matter, William
Buford just hit a three pointer on the out of bounds play. Ohio
State leads 34-28, their biggest lead of the game. Thanks for the
3:11 Buford is
making it rain. Just drained another fade away over yet another
Badger. Timeout Bo Ryan. Buckeyes by eight.
3:15 Craft goes right by Jordan Taylor, and Taylor is forced to foul. Do that a few more times, please.
basket on an inbounds play by Buford, and now a dunk in
transition by Buford. The Kohl Center is Willy Bu's world, and
we're all just eating sausages and cheeses in it. Buckeyes lead
it 40-30 with 15:40 to play.
3:17 Jordan Taylor is getting rented out by Aaron Craft. And Craft doesn't care what condition Taylor is returned in.
3:20 ESPN says the Buckeyes have hit their last nine shots, right at the exact moment they finally miss one.
worries! Jon Diebler just hit his first three of the game, giving
the Buckeyes the 45-32 lead with 13:40 to play. This is really
3:22 Alley-oop to
Sullinger for a 15-point lead. I don't even know how to process
this. I'm waiting for the Badger run to happen. Like
waiting for your parents to get home after you break the picture window.
3:23 Gotta love
Dick Vitale. Says the Buckeyes are the best team he's seen this
year, but he's only getting to see them when they're playing
well. This is code for, "I'd like to see them against Duke".
3:24 Jordan Taylor hits a three to cut it to ten points. Time to surgically reattach Craft to him.
three for Taylor because Craft went under the screen. Can't do
that against him. He was setting that one up at the outset.
Buckeyes down to 47-40 now.
timeout with 10:54 to play. The Badgers are down seven and will
be going to the line for two. The fans are acting like they're
the ones up seven. Somebody on Ohio State is going to have to do
some quieting, and it doesn't have to happen on offense.
3:29 Why did I have to say anything bad about Jordan Taylor?
3:30 Taylor gets
two more on David Lighty. Down to a three-point game.
Wisconsin is on a 12-0 run in the span of about seven seconds.
3:31 Uh oh.
The last two shots for the Buckeyes have gone in and out. The
basket is rigged, and Josh Gasser just tied the game at 47-47 and
this crowd is going crazy.
3:31 Craft shuts them up with an 18-footer. For almost an entire second.
3:32 Raggedy Andy just grabbed an offensive rebound and lays it in to tie the game back up for the Badgers.
3:33 Craft with
another jumper! What a veteran freshman. Buckeyes back up
51-49. Steal by Lighty, and he gets fouled on the
breakaway. Timeout with 7:41 remaining in the game. There
was no way this was going to be a blowout. It just wasn't
3:35 During this
timeout Thad Matta is telling his team that the rest of this game is
going through Jared Sullinger, and if it doesn't, somebody is
getting their throat punched.
3:37 Lighty makes
his first free throw. That's good news. He makes the
second. That's great news. Back up by four.
3:38 Taylor with
another three. Not sure what Craft was looking at there, he just
let him go around the screen and watched him shoot.
3:39 Raggedy Andy ties it up again with a raggedy three. 55-55 with 6:35 to play.
Nankivil gives Wisconsin the lead with a three of his own. Jared
Sullinger isn't even getting looked at. That three is now a two,
by the way.
3:40 They finally go to him and he gets hit, no call. No basket.
Unbelievable. Another three for Taylor. Wisconsin is up by
five points. He hasn't even hit the rim this half. 60-55
with 5:24 remaining. Timeout Buckeyes.
3:41 Thad has to
be getting after these refs. Sullinger can't get a shot off
because he can't extend his arms because there are people on top of
him. That's illegal if you look at the rule book.
3:42 Turnover Buckeyes. Ball game.
3:43 I know this
isn't going to end well, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the
Buckeyes handle this final four minutes.
3:45 Nobody defending the three and now nobody boxing out. The time has come.
3:47 54-49 with
2:45 remaining. Certainly not insurmountable, but am I crazy for
thinking there might be a sense of relief going on with a loss.
The lead in the conference is still quite comfortable, and now they can
just worry about pounding each opponent instead of winning for the
umpteenth time in a row. Plus, now they can play angry.
It's hard to be angry when you're 30-0.
3:49 The Badgers
have done an incredible job of keeping the ball away from Jared
Sullinger, and when he does get it, he assumes he can get fouled if he
shoots it. He's been assuming wrong today. His assumptions
would normally be correct, however. Of course, 80% of all fouls
committed against Sullinger are of his own doing.
3:54 Jon Diebler
misses a three, but Sullinger gets the rebound. Puts it up,
misses and gets fouled. Same contact there always is.
Badgers lead 65-61. Buckeyes need both free throws. The
first is good. 59.4 remaining. The second free throw
falls. Buckeyes down two.
winding down. Raggedy Andy hits a wide open three-pointer, and then Craft turns it over unforced. 24.3 to play. It's
over. When Raggedy Andy beats you, you know you've been beaten.
"over-rated" chant is alive and well in the land of whine and
cheese. Hey, Sullinger just hit a three-pointer with 3.0 left to
cut the lead to three points.
over. Badgers win 71-67 and the crowd rushes the floor.
They hoist Jon Leuer up on their shoulders. Pretty cool
scene. Good for them.
4:03 According to
Jill Montgomery, Bo Ryan was a sophomore in high school the last time
he beat the #1 team in the nation. That seems like a lie to me.
4:09 Anyway, the
inevitable happened and now we move on. They'll get another shot
at the Badgers later in the season, and they'll likely get a
double-digit win. But nobody will remember that game.
4:10 The best
part about this loss is that Michigan State is going to be running into
a very angry Buckeye team. Which is always nice.
4:11 Come get your whoopin', Izzo.
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