Thursday, March 8, 2012

Badger Preview: Big Ten Tournament!

I don't think I've ever seen a more dejected and defeated team than the Illinois team that came into the Kohl Center last Sunday.  Man, they have just COMPLETELY given up on Weber.  But the sympathy ends there, because the Badgers took care of business on Senior Day, sending Taylor and Wilson off in high fashion.  I'm pretty sure they said at one point that Bo is the only coach in the Big Ten who is undefeated on Senior Days.  Off the top of my head, one school that HAS lost on Senior Day is Ohio State.  To Wisconsin.  Weeks later, still loving that.

But after the long grind of the regular season, we've finally reached the glorious conclusion to the journey: TOURNAMENT TIME.  First up?  The appetizer better known as the Big Ten Tournament.  Apparently it starts Thursday, but being a Badger fan I'm not sure I actually believe that.  FACT: Bo Ryan has had a first day bye in every Big Ten Tournament since he took over at Wisconsin.  FACT: That is insanely impressive, and yet another feather in his cap of consistently incredible coaching.  Whether or not that makes sense, I can't tell you.

Unfortunately, previewing tournaments requires some guesswork.  I'm gonna have to make a few assumptions along the way about our potential opponents, but I like to look at it like this: I'm going to predict that we'll face the most difficult path... so either I'm right, or I'm wrong but happy.  CLASSIC WIN WIN.  On with the show.



Holy shit, that 'W' looks like it's about to jump off the screen and just kill some Hoosier bitches.  Now that's what I call a MOTION W.

(I spent far, far too much time working on this picture.)


I'm not gonna lie, looking at these standings kinda pisses me off.  The top 3 schools are all terrible in every aspect of life, and we lost twice to Iowa.  IOWA.


DON'T MIND IF I DO.  Recycling a couple old favorites:



*Underrated, Google is simultaneously the smartest and dumbest company ever.  Why isn't strikethrough available in Gmail?  Why can't you sort messages in your inbox?  Why can't you use bold and italics in text messages?  Even though that last one isn't really Google's fault, it kinda is.



I have no idea what happened to Bruiser.  DID YOU KNOW he is 2 for his last 22 from three point range?  And that he hasn't scored in double digits since February 4th?  Look, no one is expecting him to be a high scorin', hot shootin' machine.  But for a guy who's consistently playing 30+ minutes, you HAVE to start knocking some shots down.  And if the range isn't there, then you HAVE to attack the basket and put some work in down low.  We simply cannot afford to have a guy out there playing this poorly on the offensive end.  This is worse than Jarmusz.  Fortunately, one of Bruiser's last solid offensive performances came against the Hoosiers in late January (double digit points!).  If we can get something like that out of him tomorrow afternoon, I like our chances.

Let's get one thing clear: Cody Zeller is a stud.  And he'll only get better with age.  We're talking about a freshman big man averaging 15 and 6 while shooting a staggering 64% from the field.  That's DAMN impressive.  But he's also the type of kid that experienced Badger teams can pound on and slow down to a halt.  When the Hoosiers came to Madison (remember, we didn't travel to Assembly Hall this year), the Badger front court combined to hold Zeller to 7 points and 3 rebounds on 2-7 shooting in 19 minutes.  A big part of that?  They drew 4 fouls on Zeller.  Look for Berggren to attack attack ATTACK and try and neutralize Indiana's biggest weapon.  Because if he goes off and the crowd starts getting into it, we'll be planning our Selection Sunday parties a day or two earlier than we'd like.


No Doubt - Just A Girl

Sneakily my favorite No Doubt song.  I don't really identify with it, considering I am, in fact, not a girl.  But that shouldn't stop me from enjoying it.

Fastball - Out Of My Head

Better known as 'The White Hootie & The Blowfish'

The Presidents Of The United States Of America - Lump

Tough call betwixt 'Lump' and 'Peaches'.  Decided to go with 'Lump' because I love when the drums are just banging away during the verse.  I really wish I could play drums and not sound like someone having a seizure while playing Rock Band.

If it's good enough to be CM Punk's intro song, it's good enough for me.

PS -



First beat the Hoosiers

Then bigger and better things

Like beating Izzo

Can we make a run?

Crean first, and then it's Izzo

I hate both of them.


Unfortunately, you read that right.  After a great run, Katz is officially closing the book on The Hot Glove this Friday.  If we're being perfectly honest, I'm pretty sad about this development.  Not only did I enjoy writing there every week (well, most weeks), but the site was an endless source of comedy and entertainment.  Most people probably don't realize, but he was up every day at 5:30 am finding links/videos/pictures and writing about them.  If there's a silver lining in this, it's that this week is featuring a quasi-'Best Of THG' feature every day.  COMEDY GOLD.  Here we go:


One of my all-time favorites: A guy at Coachella SHTRUGGALING to put his flip flops on.  I've watched this roughly 9,000 times.

I'm terrible at assembling tents sober.  I can't imagine trying it while tripping on ether.


There is nothing better than the Russian Aquarium Brawl.  Underrated, this is the only fight video on the internet where the two teams are wearing uniforms: White shirts vs. dark shirts!  Makes it MUCH easier to keep track of everything.  Also, total miracle of modern science than the main protagonist in white never falls in the pool once the fight starts.  Double also, are there like dolphins swimming in that pool the whole time?  WHAT GOES ON IN RUSSIA?  Could this happen at the Shedd?

Russia totally summed up in 15 seconds.  There is literally nothing missing.


NO ONE has ever given fewer fucks than this guy. He gettin' paper.  LOOK AT HIM NOW

I don't know why this is grouped in with the dancing videos, but I'll never hate on a kid tryin' to do hood rat stuff with his friends.


Hear me out: Every little convenience store/mini-mart/bodega is EXACTLY the same.  An entire aisle of chips, 3 day old bread, Oscar Meyer bacon, and NO legit chocolate milk.  This is egregious.  That's why I'm currently in the process of designing the world's FIRST organic, free-range mini-mart/bodega.  God I love saying the word 'bodega'.  But seriously, I'm talking like a combo of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, with the convenience of 7-Eleven.  Does this make sense?  Say you're preparing some elegant dish in your vaulted ceiling, stainless steel appliance-equipped condo and you realize you don't have any pain au levain.  What do you do?  Do you get in your car and drive 10 miles to Whole Foods?  Or do you walk down the block to your friendly neighborhood Organic Bodega (temporary name)?  I think the answer is OBVIOUS.  Because trust me - you're not gonna find any Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles at the Clark Street Pantry.

Organic Bodegas - coming soon to Lincoln Park and River North.

I'm SO excited to be a billionaire

(One of these ideas is gonna stick, I have faith.)


And they've traded up from a boxcar to a school bus:

A postal worker called Child Protective Services on Wednesday after she found two Splendora, Texas, children living in an abandoned school bus. An 11-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother were discovered in the window-blocked vehicle that was covered in trash in the woods.

The kids, whose names have not been released to protect their identities, have been living basically alone in the vehicle since the beginning of the year. Their parents are in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to embezzle money from Hurricane Ike victims in 2008. Both parents were sentenced to 18 months.
The mom also says the bus has hot and cold running water and electricity, and that she's on the phone with her children from prison very frequently. She says she is hoping to regain custody of the kids when she's free in 30 days.

I think if you step back and really evaluate the situation here, this is a pretty savvy move by the family.  All families have to overcome hardships.  Sometimes your dad loses his job.  Maybe your dog dies.  Every once in a while your parents get caught embezzling money from hurricane victims.  It's how you OVERCOME the hardships that defines you as a cohesive family, and I think this group is on the right track.  Go to prison?  Have your kids live in an abandoned school bus in the woods like hobos.  It's not like it doesn't have running water and electricity.  I remember when I was a kid, I totally wanted to live in the bus from Camp Nowhere.  These kids are just living the dream.

PS - The Boxcar Children was written by a woman named Gertrude Warner.  Gertrude is one of the most classic old people names ever.  Off the top of my head:

1) Gertrude
2) Louise
3) Ethel
4) Mildred
5) Bertha

And for the men:

1) Ira
2) Melvin
3) Wilbur
4) Mortimer
5) Harold

No one under 80 has any of those names.

PPS - For some reason, the Boxcar Children reminded me of Goosebumps.  I had almost all of them, but I don't think I read a single page.  I just thought they were cool and collected them.  I'm mildly embarrassed by this looking back.  Childhood-me was even more strange than you might realize.

PPPS - Still laughing at 'Mortimer'.  Something about that name is absolutely hilarious to me.


Balsamic vinaigrette (no idea if that's the right word) pasta with breaded chicken and a freshly baked baguette.  Well, the baguette was from Trader Joe's, but it was rubbed in oil and tossed in the oven.  Hence, baked.  Obviously, I melted some cheese on top... of just about everything.  For composition purposes only.  #topchef

(I didn't cook this.)

Did somebody say... JAMBALAYA?

And because my family wants to torment me, they make incredibly good looking tempura chicken tenders* and send me pictures.  I was probably elbow deep in a slice of Beggar's when I got this.  So very unfair.

*Because I see this often:

1) Tenders
2) Strips
3) Fingers

In that order.



Now that Indiana has won and they are OFFICIALLY our next opponent, I can tell you in total confidence that I think we are going to win tomorrow.  DID YOU KNOW that the current UW seniors have NEVER won a game in the Big Ten Tournament?  Nope.  We've lost in the quarterfinals 3 straight years.  That's absurd.  I don't know if we can pull the whole damn thing off, but I fully expect us to come out tomorrow and silence the home crowd like they've never been silenced before.  The #roadwarriors are back, and they're ready to take Indy by storm.  The Pick:


Time for assumptions.  If we beat Indiana, we will most likely be facing Michigan State (unless Gatens and Iowa keep getting their nut, which is definitely possible).  And man, I'm just not sure.  That MSU team is TOUGH.  But you know what?  They've NEVER won the Big Ten Tournament, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit here and let them plow through us on their way to their first title (because I have a huge impact on the games).  Beat us once, shame on you.  Beat us twice, shame on us.  Beat us three times and Bo Ryan will eat your face off.  The Pick:


Win those two and we're playing in the championship on Sunday.  And you know what?  I WANT the Buckeyes.  I wanna see Jared Berggren dominate a supposed lottery pick again.  I wanna see Taylor outplay Craft on both ends.  I wanna see Buckeye fans streaming out to the exits crying while Badger fans are taking their stubs to get closer to the celebration.  And damnit, I wanna roll into the NCAA Tournament with some kickass momentum and another banner to hang in the Kohl Center.  The Pick:


Lots of close games.  I have officially lost my mind.  Oh well.  #MADNESS


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