The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team fell short yet again in their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup against Virginia Monday night with a score of 49-37.
The Virginia Cavaliers defense, schemed by coach Tony Bennett, is famous for holding teams to very few possessions and points. This is typically true for the Badgers as well, so it makes perfect sense that each of these teams were unable to score more than 50 points or even shoot 40 percent from the field.
This was always going to be a defensive matchup and it proved to be exactly that. The Badgers shot a dismal 31 percent from the floor and made only three of their 20 three-point attempts, which makes it nearly impossible to win even if their defense plays stellar.
Ethan Happ led the way for Wisconsin with 14 points on six of 10 shooting and added eight rebounds and a steal as well. The only other Badger to finish in double digits was D’Mitrik Trice, who had 10 points, but missed all five of his three point attempts. This was a difficult road matchup for Wisconsin, especially for the younger players who have never had to deal with a defense as tough as Virginia’s. With so few possessions available in a game as slowed down as this one, there is very little margin for error, and that is a lot to ask from players at this point in their careers.
The Cavaliers were led in scoring by Devon Hall and Kyle Guy with 16 and 17 points, respectively. These were the only Virginia players to reach double digits in scoring. The Badgers did a great job of limiting Virginia offensively, but were unable to get the points themselves to actually take advantage of that.
The Badgers move to 3-4 on the season and have now dropped three of their last four games, all to ranked teams. If they are going to seriously contend for making the NCAA Tournament, they are going to need to start gelling because there are only so many opportunities to get quality wins over the course of a season.
The Badgers will get a great chance to redeem themselves and show what they are capable of in a game against Ohio State Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center at 4 p.m. The game will be available to stream on FOX, immediately before the Big Ten Championship football game.