Wisconsin Badgers Take Down #1 Undefeated Ohio State

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For the second time this season, a Wisconsin Badgers program has knocked off an undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes team ranked #1 by the AP. The football team did it in October and now the #13 Badgers (19-5, 9-3) have done it in basketball as they knocked off #1 Ohio State (24-1, 11-1) 71-67 on Saturday.

Jordan Taylor was magnificent while leading the Badgers with 27 points and seven assists in front of an electric crowd at the Kohl Center.

By: Nick Grays


What It Means:
The Badgers have proved they can play with anyone in the nation while beating what was the only undefeated team in the country. There must be something in the air at the Kohl Center because the upset over the Buckeyes marks the Badgers 17th straight win at home.

Unfortunately for Wisconsin, they won’t be able to play at home during the NCAA Tournament. A lot will be learned about the Badgers when they take on Purdue and Ohio State on the road.

The biggest surprise in Saturday’s upset was how the Badgers responded to being down by 15 early in the second half. They expressed a resiliency led by point guard Taylor like I’ve never seen before from a Wisconsin basketball team. The way  they erased the deficit in a few minutes shows that this is not your typical Badgers team; this squad can score in bunches.

Player of the Game: Junior Guard Jordan Taylor

Taylor should most certainly be put in the class of the nation’s best point guards after his performance versus OSU. After struggling in the first half, Taylor bounced back with an unbelievable confidence and made all the right decisions to help the Badgers pull the upset.

Taylor accounted for 26 points of a 30-8 run for the Badgers in the second half by scoring 18 himself and using three assists to add another eight points.

He also entered the game leading the nation with a 3.89 assist-to-turnover ratio. Nothing changed against the Buckeyes as Taylor recorded seven assists to only one turnover.

Highlight of the Day: The second half was full of them, but it was a Mike Bruesewitz clutch three-pointer from the top of the circle with less than 30 seconds left that sealed it for the Badgers. Bruesewitz put forth a solid game with 12 points in 22 minutes.

Stat of the Game: The 15-point deficit that the Badgers overcame marks only the sixth time in school history that the Badgers have come back from a deficit of at least 15 points and the 40th time in school history that the team has overcome a double-digit second half deficit.

Quotables: Bo Ryan and Jordan Taylor had a comical back-and-forth in response to who Taylor looks like. During Taylor’s visit to campus, Ryan alleges Taylor mimicked a figure from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

“He did his Carlton thing, have any idea what I’m talking about? He did the head and shoulder shake and I think he had a sweater on too,” joked Ryan.

When asked if that happened, Taylor responded with, “Definitely not, he kind of looks like the Grinch, I’m just kidding. I don’t know what he’s talking about.”

Had to get a Packers plug in here, so here’s a tweet from Aaron Rodgers after the big win:

via @AaronRodgers12 “Bo Ryan is the best coach in college basketball. Doesn’t get enough credit for the job he does every year. Watch out for the badgers n march.”

What’s Next: The Badgers quest for a Big Ten Title continues on Wednesday, February 16th when they travel to West Lafayette to take on the #14 Purdue Boilermakers (19-5, 8-3).

The Boilermakers fell to the Badgers at the Kohl Center by the score of 66-59 on February 1st. Jon Leuer was all over the place on that particular night while posting 24 points and 13 rebounds. Wisconsin also did a great job of neutralizing Purdue’s “other” players while JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore combined for 38 points.

What did you think of the Badgers big win over the Buckeyes? Is Wisconsin for real? 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)

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.

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