March 14, 2009

Good, bad and ugly from OSU loss

MADISON, Wis. - Going into Friday's quarterfinal game in the Big Ten, many believed both Wisconsin and OSU would wind up in the big dance. But after its loss to the Buckeyes, there will likely be some sleepless nights before the brackets are released Sunday afternoon for the 19-12 Badgers.

Before then, BadgerBlitz.com recounts what could have been with the good, bad and ugly from UW's early Big Ten tournament exit.

THE GOOD

Containing B.J. Mullens

In the teams' first meeting at the Kohl Center in February, Mullens had seven points, seven rebounds and a block in 21 minutes of action. On Friday, the freshman center only had two points and four rebounds in 12 minutes of play.

On top of that, the Badgers did a good job attacking the big man and forced him into committing fouls. In fact, Mullens fouled out with 1:43 to play and was a non-factor for the majority of the game.

First half defense against Evan Turner

Joe Krabbenhoft, Marcus Landry and Tim Jarmusz all had their fair share of chances to guard Turner. And in the first half, they succeeded by holding the sensational sophomore to only six points. Furthermore, the Badgers got Turner into foul trouble, forcing him to sit for the final six minutes of the first half after he received his second personal foul.

But the Badgers were unable to sustain that defensive performance as Turner scored 13 second half points including a nifty lay-in that gave the Buckeyes the lead for good with less than a minute to play.

"Evan's a great player," UW senior and primary defender Joe Krabbenhoft said. "He did it down the stretch. HE stepped up and led his team. They were down a couple and he just took control of the game and took control of the ball."

THE BAD

Not taking advantage of OSU foul trouble in first half:

Turner picked up his second foul with approximately five and a half minutes left in the half. At the time, UW was up 20-16 and Turner was on his way to the bench for the remainder of the half.

But it wasn't just Turner that was in foul trouble. When he got to the bench, he joined fellow starter Jon Diebler and key reserve Mullens there with him. Still, the Badgers were unable to extend its lead and actually allowed the Buckeyes to take a one-point lead into the halftime break. It was the key contributions of the OSU bench that allowed the Buckeyes to rally.

"They sparked us," OSU head coach Thad Matta said. "William Buford's shot there at the end of the half and gave us a little jolt of energy because I don't think we played particularly well. We had to weather a lot of storms and that kind of excited the locker room there at halftime."

THE UGLY

Bo Ryan's technical:

After two Ohio State elbows found the face of Badger players, Dallas Lauderdale appeared to give Marcus Landry a strong enough blow to the neck area to knock him down. While Landry was able to get up and recover, he fouled Lauderdale on his way to the rim.

Immediately after the foul was called, the official slapped Ryan with a technical for a reason that has left the Badger coach questioning.

"I had no idea," Ryan said. "What was said from the bench was the only thing the assistants could say was they all yelled, 'Marcus just got knocked down.' So then I'm asked by the media (ESPN), why didn't they call that forearm to the neck of Landry. I can't answer that. What kind of answer can I give to it.

"I guess the guys on our bench and a bunch of fans behind us yelled at the official about Marcus getting forearmed or something."

UW back on the bubble?

Following the game, both coaches and a couple players were asked about the game's impact on NCAA ramifications. Here is how they responded:

Joe Krabbenhoft: "There's nothing we can talk about. We're not in control of that anymore."

Bo Ryan: "It's the quarterfinals and we earned our way to the quarterfinals by finishing seven of our last nine on the plus side. I look at the other teams out there and everything else. For that question to even be asked, that's fine. If you look at the teams we played, we played a tough schedule. So there's nothing I can say that will do anything."

Thad Matta: "I think coming into this game both teams were in. Maybe you help yourself with a seed, but with Wisconsin, obviously with what they've done all year and what we've done. The biggest thing is for us and Wisconsin to finish fourth and fifth, or tied and the discrepancy to second and third is one game in the number two league in the country. For us, it shouldn't come down to a one game season. Both teams did enough from November all the way through. Finishing 10-8 in this league, both teams are in great shape."

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