Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Wisconsin game, Deckchairs on the Titanic version

Wisconsin Badgers
Current record: 19-4
Big Ten record: 9-2
Current RPI: 21
Current Sagarin: 9
2006-07 record: 30-6 (lost to UNLV in second round of NCAA Tournament)
2006-07 RPI: 4
2006-07 Sagarin: 8
Series: IU leads 94-56
Last IU win: 1/31/07 (71-66 in Bloomington)
Last Wisconsin win: 1/31/08 (62-49 in Madison)
Last Wisconsin win in Bloomington: 3/9/04 (70-52)
TV: 7 pm, BTN
Since there's nothing else to talk about, I may as well preview the tonight's game. What makes the Sampson news all the more disappointing that that IU is entering what would have been its most exciting stretch of games in years. I feel sorry for the players and the students, who have put up with quite a bit of bad basketball during their time in Bloomington.
Nevertheless, I don't have much time today, so I will refer back to my preview of the first Wisconsin game. For the most part, the Badgers are the same team they were before. Of course, the Badgers lost to Purdue in their only challenging game since playing IU on January 31. Wisconsin's offense was fine, at least in the end. The Badgers shot only 32 percent overall and 3-18 from behind the arc, but edged over a point per possession by shooting 30-33 from the line. Purdue won because of its offense, or because of Wisconsin's defense. Purdue shot 53 percent from the field and 8-19 from behind the arc and overcame 12-22 from the line to score 1.09 points per possession. Wisconsin's only worse defensive performances this year came in losses to Duke and Marquette. The Badgers were also several percentage points below average in their defensive rebounding. The Badgers offensive numbers in the Purdue loss are pretty similar to their offensive numbers in the win over IU. IU played really poorly offensively. In Bloomington, the Hoosiers should be able to score, and the Badgers generally have not played well offensively in their only tough road games, at Purdue and at Duke. If IU can overcome the intangibles and can put the ball in the hole at even an average rate, we should be in a position to win.


T-Mill said...

you make a valid point. It is unfortunatet hat it is the players that will suffer from this. As much flack as Gordon has taken he is an excellent player. I had the privilege of covering one of his high school games and he amkes everything look so effortless out there.

John M said...

Agree about Gordon, but my thought is more about guys like DJ White, who has gone through injuries, an NIT season, coaching upheaval, and basically a non-stop soap opera.

Congrats on winning the Big Ten (and yes, I'm trying to jinx you, but it's hard to see how the Boilers could fail to win at least a share now, even if IU wins next Tuesday).