The Wisconsin Badgers are not always pretty to watch. For one example....just look at their last game at Nebraska a few days ago. They only scored 47 points....but still won the game by 6 points. It was the lowest winning point total for a Badger team since 1986....and the lowest winning point total for Wisconsin in a Big Ten game since scoring (35) in a win against Michigan State....in 1951.
One thing that is consistent about the Badgers under Bo Ryan the last dozen years: They do know how to play defense and limit scoring. The Nebraska game was the 9th time this year an opponent has scored less than 60 points in a game.... and the 5th time they have held the other team to under 50 points. The Badgers led the nation in fewest points allowed per game (53.2 ppg) last year....and are 6th in the nation this year at (54.9 ppg allowed).
The Badgers are also remarkable in that they always seem to win at home. In fact Bo Ryan is 175-16 at the Kohl Center....and only Gonzaga , Duke and Kansas have had better home records since 2001. They are always in the NCAA Tournament (11 straight years)...and have made it to at least the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament 6 times since 2000 (2 Elite 8 appearances).
The Badgers also win conference games. Under Bo Ryan...the Badgers have had a winning conference record for 12 straight years and have won at least 11 conference games in 9 of the last 11 years.
They dont turn the ball over. The Badgers have had less than 10 turnovers in 5 straight games. and average only 8.7 turnovers per game this season...among the best turnover rates in the country (again.....)
When you play the Badgers you know exaclty what you are going to get: Great defense....a flex offense that always seems to get a good shot late in the shot clock.....and a limited number of possessions for their opponents. You have to take good shots...because if you dont.....you dont get many chances to make up for it.
While some Badger fans complain that the Badgers often dont seem to have enough to make it past the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.....I have always admired the consistent way they go about things.
The Illini have a chance to steal a win on the road this Saturday....but they will be trying to get that done in a building that has been unkind to visitors over the years.
Talk to you from the Kohl Center on Saturday afternoon!