The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (13-10, 6-6 Big Ten) followed up their impressive victory over Michigan State with a disappointing loss in the Barn against Minnesota.
The Minnesota Gophers dominated the Badgers throughout the entirety of the game Wednesday, winning 70–52. Wisconsin trailed by as much as 22 points and never led in the game.
The Badgers struggled immensely on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 45 points in the first half alone. The Gophers shot 40.9% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc.
Payton Willis set a career-high with 21 points for the Gophers while shooting 70% from the field, including 5-for-7 from 3-point land.
Wisconsin will need stronger production from their bench moving forward if they want to finish the year strong. Last night, both Trevor Anderson and Brevin Pritzl went scoreless off the bench.
On top of that, Brad Davison returned from a one-game suspension and struggled playing in his home state. Davisson did not convert a field goal and finished with four points, all from the free-throw line.
With the loss, the Badgers fall to 2-4 against unranked Big Ten opponents, continuing a string of inconsistent games in conference play. But, the Badgers have been impressive against ranked Big Ten teams with a 4-2 record, including the win over No. 14 Michigan State Saturday night.
The Badgers dropped to a tie for seventh place in the Big Ten standings with a 6-6 record. Both the Purdue Boilermakers (13-10, 6-6) and the Minnesota Gophers (12-10, 6-6) are sporting the same 6-6 record but sit ahead in the standings due to head-to-head victories over Wisconsin.
The only thing keeping the Badgers in the conversation for a March Madness bid is their six Quadrant 1 wins. But with a 13-10 record, the pressure is building and their final eight games are becoming must-win games, especially with games they should win ahead and five home games still left on the schedule.
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Wisconsin will have just three days rest before returning to the Kohl Center for a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The last time these two teams met, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 5 in the nation before the Badgers came into Columbus and beat them on their home floor by a score of 61–57.
Kobe King was a crucial factor in that game, scoring 13 points while shooting 85.7% from the field. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, Kobe King is no longer on the team after announcing his departure from the program, meaning Wisconsin will need to find production elsewhere.
Tip-off between the Badgers and Buckeyes is set for 12 p.m. Sunday at the Kohl Center. You can watch the action on CBS or listen live on the Badger Radio Network.