As forecasted on this blog page after the Minnesota debacle last Thursday, Bo Ryan's Badgers rebounded with a convincing 71-49 win over Ohio State Saturday at the Kohl Center. In perhaps what was their best overall performance of the season, the Badgers shot the ball nicely, played great defense, limited their turnovers, and even made a few free throws. With outings like that one, Wisconsin is deserved of its top 20 ranking, and probably as high as a fifth seed when the NCAA tournament selection committee sits down on St. Patrick's Day to set the field for March Madness.
What all this certainly must mean then is that when the Badgers tip off with the Mighty Wildcats of Northwestern tonight at the infamous Welsh Ryan Arena in Evanston, they will probably exit the aged building with their fifth Big Ten conference defeat of the season.
As mere eight points favorites tonight, it appears that even Vegas is hedging it's bets on this one. Stranger things have happened to better teams from Wisconsin on this very floor. There's something about the high school atmosphere that makes opponents of the Mildcats play exactly like a high school team. Maybe it's the crazy confines, the Princeton style offense or the trapping defensive schemes currrently in play at Northwestern, but whatever it is, it is most likely going to rear its ugly head tonight, just when you thought that Wisky had gotten their proverbial act together.
It's also Social Media night tonight for the well-educated fans in Evanston, so as the Mildcat student population ticks down the final seconds of thier team's 63-60 upset of previously 19th ranked Wisconsin, all the Twitter, Youtube and Facebook patrons can follow right along on their smartphones.
That's how promotions are structured in Evanston these days, especially when your team is 13-13 overall and playing with half of its roster that started the season. It shouldn't make any difference though, because in this very strange and weird season currently underway for Wisconsin, losing to Northwestern on Social Media Night would make all the sense in the world.
And For What