Wisconsin’s worst of fears were confirmed on Friday afternoon when Ole Miss pulled the cliche-but-common 12/5 upset in a dramatic 57-46 win over the Badgers.
The Badgers uncharacteristically lost the turnover battle, 11-to-9, and shot an atrocious 25.4 percent from the field.
Many felt Ole Miss was a borderline tournament team and the most publicized player in this year’s Big Dance has unfortunately been the polarizing Marshall Henderson who willed himself to be the top-scorer with the an inefficient 19 points on 6-of-21 shooting.
Considering the way the Badgers performed, it’s not farfetched to say it was the worst tournament loss of the Bo Ryan era, but one dark day shouldn’t define what Wisconsin did in 2012-13.
Even with all the negativity that goes with falling prey in an unexpected upset, there’s no reason to not be proud of what the Wisconsin Badgers accomplished in 2012-13.
Bo Ryan was the coach of the year in the best conference in American after leading the Badgers to an amazing 23-12 record, including a 12-6 mark and 4th place finish in the Big Ten.
A trio of seniors (Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans) took a team who struggled mightily during the non-conference season and made them legitimate contenders. They led the charge in a perfect 4-0 record against conference juggernauts Michigan and Indiana.
With the departure of these important seniors, the future remains bright because of the vast improvement made by junior Ben Brust and a pair of sophomores in Traevon Jackson and Frank Kaminsky.
That’s not even mentioning the super-talented freshmen Sam Dekker and George Marshall who could certainly be some of the best players ever to wear the Badgers uniform.
Now that the season has ended for the Badgers, it’s time to start looking to the 2013-14 season when we know Bo Ryan’s squad will win 20+ games, finish 4th or better in the Big Ten and make the NCAA Tournament once again.
Are you having a tough time getting over Wisconsin’s loss in the tournament? Let me know by commenting below.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow paulmbanks