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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Sitting ‘Bear’ suffers injured ‘bow

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan did something very uncharacteristic of his coaching style in Sunday's 49-48 loss to Ohio State, and it may have backfired on him.

In an attempt to match up with the Buckeyes' line-up, Ryan started forward Joe Krabbenhoft in place of big man Brian Butch. With the perimeter-based starting line-up Ohio State has, Ryan felt Krabbenhoft was the better choice instead of leaving Butch to chase Ivan Harris on the wing as Jason Chappell had the assignment of guarding Buckeyes' center Greg Oden.

"It was just to guard the 3-point shooters. [Ohio State's] perimeter players are a little more athletic, a little more quick," said Ryan of his change in the starting lineup.


Krabbenhoft chipped in with six rebounds but struggled with his shot as he finished the game with just two points on 1-of-5 shooting.

Butch, on the other hand, entered the game and made an immediate impact. He came in, knocked down a jump shot and grabbed three rebounds in just three minutes, but quickly left the game.

With 9:57 remaining in the first half, Butch hit the floor hard after colliding with teammate Greg Stiemsma and Buckeyes' guard Jamar Butler as Stiemsma fouled Butler. Butch lay on the floor grasping his right elbow before heading to the bench.

"I thought it was a pretty good strategy until [Butch] got hurt," Ryan joked. "That's a little tongue in check … just because [Butch] doesn't start doesn't make him a bad player."

Butch did not return, and his absence hurt the Badgers' rotation of post players to combat the Buckeyes' presence down low of Oden.

"It was tough losing Brian," Tucker said. "He brought a lot of energy."

After the game, the junior forward was in a sling, but further details of his right elbow injury were not disclosed.

Another court storming

Although it may not be the statistic coach Ryan wants to see, the Badgers are now a perfect 3-for-3 in having all of their road losses resulting in fans storming the court.

It all started when Indiana upset the Badgers back on Jan. 31, and Hoosier fans rushed the Assembly Hall floor. Last Tuesday, Michigan State fans paraded the Breslin Center after defeating Wisconsin — the first time the Spartans ever beat a No. 1 team at home. And finally, those in attendance at Value City Arena Sunday stormed the court after the Buckeyes edged the Badgers.

Even though Wisconsin and Ohio State were ranked as the country's top two teams in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls, the Buckeyes locked up the Big Ten title. As a result, having fans rushing the court was understandable, and it's nothing new to Badger players.

"It's nothing that bothers me," Tucker said. "They're excited. They won a Big Ten championship. They sealed the deal so that's only right for them to celebrate."

Look at Florida

While the past week has been difficult for the Badgers, losing back-to-back games after receiving their first-ever No. 1 ranking, they know the season's not over.

"This week has been tough for us," Tucker said. "[But] we can't hang our heads and say the season's over with. We didn't accomplish our first goal — we didn't win a Big Ten championship — but we still have the tournament left.

"It's not over."

For encouragement, Tucker is pointing to what Florida did a year ago. Before winning the national championship, the Gators struggled through a three-game losing skid in the middle of February before winning their last two games and making a run in both the SEC and NCAA tournament. Furthermore, the No. 3 Gators have currently lost two of their last three games.

"I was talking to the guys and I said, 'Florida, I believe, lost three of their last five games last year and won it all,'" Tucker said. "And that's what's pretty much in our heads."

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