With the season-sweep of the Northwestern Wildcats, the #12 Wisconsin Badgers have won their 19th straight at home and finished a perfect 16-0 at the Kohl Center in 2010-11. For the Badgers (22-7, 12-4), it’s only the third time they’ve completed an undefeated home schedule in 80 years.
The Wildcats (16-12, 6-11) didn’t make it easy for Wisconsin as they pulled within three points late in the second half, but it was Jon Leuer who didn’t disappoint on Senior Night while going for a game-high 26 points.
By: Nick Grays
What It Means: With #8 Purdue and #2 Ohio State continuing to roll, Wisconsin has wedged their selves into third place in the Big Ten Standings. If the season was to end today, the Badgers would be playing the late Friday game in the Big Ten Tournament against the winner of the #6 (Penn State)/#11(Iowa) match-up on Thursday. For the complete Big Ten Tournament Bracket, click here.
In regards to their NCAA tourney outlook, the Badgers likely seed looks to be in the 2-to-5 range. With a season-sweep of Ohio State and a respectable effort in Indianapolis, the Badgers could get a #2, but a first-round loss there could also sway the committee to put them in the 4-5 range.
While those are the two extreme cases, I think the Badgers will fare somewhere between and finish with a #3 seed. Even though Badgers fans travel well, being placed in the West Regional with games in Chicago could make all the difference.
Players of the Game: Wisconsin’s Starting Seniors (Tim Jarmusz, Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil)
Tim Jarmusz – Jarmusz played 35 minutes of solid basketball and as usual didn’t commit any turnovers. The guard also shot 2-for-3 from behind the arc for six points.
Jon Leuer – This guy is playing his best basketball right now as his 26 points marks his 13th game this season with 20+ points and the 35th consecutive game in double-figures.
Keaton Nankivil – The Madison native was a cool 6-of-9 shooting with 15 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
Highlight of the Night: At the 16:15 mark in the second half, point guard Jordan Taylor air-mailed a pass to the paint for Leuer who threw down a monster two-handed reverse jam. The pass was Taylor’s 5th assist and the basket, Leuer’s 18th and 19th points of the night.
Stat of the Game: UW shot a season-best 65.4 percent in the first half to establish a 43-30 lead over the Wildcats.
Quotables: Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan gave a predictable response when asked whether he talked with the team about going undefeated at home.
“Never mentioned it, all I said after the game was that we closed out our home portion of the schedule,” said Ryan.
Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody took note of Leuer’s play.
“There were a lot of good players, with Jon Leuer out there, we couldn’t stop him all night. He got the ball, draws them right and turns it back over his left shoulder. You might need to take that away from guys and I don’t think we did that tonight, especially with him,” said Carmody.
What’s Next: The Badgers have finished their undefeated campaign at home and now turn to the road for their final two games of the 2010-11 regular season. First it’s a trip to Bloomington where they will meet Indiana (12-17, 3-13) followed by a trip to Columbus to take on #2 Ohio State (27-2, 14-2).
What did you think of the Wisconsin Badgers win over the Northwestern Wildcats? Where will the Badgers end up in the NCAA tourney? Let me know by commenting below!
Rapid Reaction Archive:
Wisconsin 99 Prairie View A&M 55 (11-14-10)
Wisconsin 85 North Dakota 53 (11-16-10)
Wisconsin 87 NC State 48 (12-1-10)
Wisconsin 61 Milwaukee 40 (12-8-10)
Wisconsin 70 Green Bay 56 (12-13-10)
Wisconsin 80 Coppin State 55 (12-23-10)
Wisconsin 66 Michigan 50 (1-5-11)
Wisconsin 76 Illinois 66 (1-15-11)
Wisconsin 69 Indiana 60 (1-20-11)
Wisconsin 66 Purdue 59 (2-1-11)
Wisconsin 82 Michigan State 56 (2-6-11)
Wisconsin 71 Ohio State 67 (2-12-11)
Wisconsin 76 Penn State 66 (2-20-11)
Nick Grays is a senior editor at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Brewers. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.