Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal joined the show Monday to talk Badger basketball and their Sunday game against Purdue.
Despite their tough conference loss against the Boilermakers, Polzin doesn't feel that the Badgers will approach Thursday's upcoming game against Michigan State any differently. To him, some of Bo Ryan's biggest strengths as a coach have always been his consistency and the way his teams react to wins and losses. "They react to big losses the same way they react to big wins. They'll get right back in the practice room tomorrow." Polzin does, however, think this loss changes how we look at the team and where they stand in regards to the NCAA Tournament.
What about this game was different than the Badgers' recent large-margin wins? Polzin thinks Purdue did "some nice things offensively" which exposed weaknesses in the Badger defense. He saw some "uncharacteristic" things happening on UW's end, giving the example of DJ Byrd beating Mike Bruesewitz back to hit a transition three-pointer and felt that yesterday was "an exception" to Wisconsin's generally great transition defense. "When you don't shoot well and have defensive breakdowns, Wisconsin just isn't good enough to overcome that."
This loss will more than likely affect Wisconsin's seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, and Polzin calls it "a crippling loss" in the Big Ten Championship race. "Now, almost the perfect miracle has to happen for them to grab a share." To make a succesful run in the tournament, Polzin thinks shooting is key - free throw and three-point in particular. "If their shots are falling, I think this team has potential."