Thursday, March 21, 2013

NCAA Tournament Rounds 1 & 2


(I tried to find a video of a full, professional orchestra playing that song on repeat, but failed. Would have settled for something like this, but came up empty. Whoa, John Tesh has enormous hands. All really talented musicians do. Of course I'm stuck here with these NORMAL sized hands like some kind of loser. Ugh.)

You can always tell when I'm REALLY excited about something because 9 times out of 10 I'll write out full words instead of using contractions. I'm willing to bet that my non-contraction usage SKYROCKETS around this time every year. Seems like a difficult thing to track, so you're gonna have to take my word for it. And what's not to be excited about (if you live in the Midwest and say 'the weather', I hate you)? It's Spring. People are emerging from their hibernations. Patio drinking is right around the corner. And of course, it's NCAA Tournament time.

Are you feeling a little more optimistic about this team's chances after the run they went on in the B1G Tournament last weekend? A certain genius had UW losing to Michigan, and after 20 minutes that prediction looked to be pretty accurate. But then UW went out and scored 51 points on Michigan in the second half, sending those elitist losers back to the hell-forsaken hole they call home. I do not like Michigan.

I also do not like Tom Crean. Bo does not like Tom Crean. Most importantly, Bo does not like losing to Tom Crean. His solution? NEVER LOSE TO TOM CREAN, EVER AGAIN, EVER. That kind of strategery is yet another example of why Bo was a very deserving choice for Coach of the Year. Also, this:

Nothing like a little 7-0 run from the Sheboygan Stallion to get the juices flowing. And the entire sequence was a great look at the wide array of talents Dekker has. The first bucket came on a coast-to-coast drive where he drew the contact from one of the best defenders in the nation while smoothly finishing off the glass. The next possession had Sam stepping behind the three point line and splashing one home. A few seconds after that, he was pushing another one in transition down the left side of the court, squared up, and banked it in. All of that in 50 seconds. I don't wanna stray too far from the current team at such an exciting time, but this team WILL run more in the next few years with the influx of talent coming. The thing is, I don't think Bo is averse to pushing the ball - but it requires the right personnel. When you have Evans and Bruiser running down the wings with Jackson bringing the ball up, you don't really have a good finisher in the group. But once you put Dekker in there and mix in the kids coming in next year, things should pick up. WE WILL NOT ALWAYS BE BORING. #DEKKER





Thursday, March 14, 2013

Big Ten Tournament

As meaningless as it may be, the Big Ten Tournament should still be pretty crazy this year. Michigan is currently #6 in the country... and the 5 seed in the BTT. That's hard to even comprehend. And that's also our most likely opponent. Should Michigan get by a pesky Penn State team that beat UM earlier and almost stole one from UW on Sunday, they'll have a rematch with Wisconsin Friday afternoon at the United Center. Win that, and you have to beat #3 Indiana. And if you survive THAT, then you'll most likely see #8 MSU or #10 OSU in the championship. And THEN comes the NCAA Tournament. Jesus.

Time to nut up or shut up. No doubt, we've got a defense that can win championships. But if you want to know how far UW will advance in the B1G and NCAA tournaments, you've got to focus on these three questions:

1) Will the shots fall?
2) Will Dekker be freed?
3) Will we get Michigan State Jackson (DO NOT WANT) or Penn State Jackson (MORE PLEASE)?

That's really all it boils down to. We're gonna hit one of those 4-5 minute dry-spells - but can we snap out of it and start hitting shots again? Is Bo gonna let Dekker go nuts? If anyone on the team could catch fire and carry us from one weekend to the next, it's the freshman from Sheboygan with the picture-perfect stroke. Will Traevon minimize turnovers, play smart, and hit open shots? Hard to play with a point guard that doesn't do those things.

Should be really fun to see it all play out.




Thursday, March 7, 2013

@ Penn State

[DISCLAIMER: I'm posting this before the MSU game. Usually I'd wait until after, but I wanna go drink beer and eat Dimo's. So, my advice would be to save this until later and keep in mind that nothing in here reflects whatever goes down in East Lansing tonight.]

Sad to say, but kind of a fitting Senior Night for Evans, Berggren, and Bruesewitz, wasn't it? I don't wanna take away too much from what this group has accomplished over the years, but it's worth noting that they'll most likely graduate with zero Big Ten championships. The '06-'07 and '07'-'08 teams won 30+ games each year and even hit #1 in the polls. Unfortunately, Bo did not capitalize on that success in the recruiting department, and here we are, 5 years down the road, losing at home by 13 to a shitty Purdue team with a shot of at least sharing a title on the line. OF COURSE Indiana went and choked against OSU after we already shit the bed vs. Purdue. That's how it works.

And what a FRUSTRATING season. We went from low expectations to losing multiple times in the non-conference schedule to beating Indiana on the road to choking at home against MSU  to upsetting Michigan with a miracle back to choking against Minnesota to blowing out 3 teams in a row by 20+ to embarrassing ourselves on our home court on Senior Day against lowly Purdue. A WHIRLWIND OF SORTS. I'm actually a bit winded even typing all of that out. The point is this season has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Losing Gasser a month before the season could have been a fine excuse for this team to lay down and die, but they didn't do that. I can't even begin to explain the free throw shooting, which has single-handedly cost us games. But other than that, I'd say we're finishing about where I expected us to. It's just hard to stomach it knowing that if we didn't choke away some of those games we should've won, we could be playing for a whole lot more down the stretch here. Just like last year. Oh well.

So, one game left. Then the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. And then it's one-and-done time. Can't believe how quickly this season has flown by, but I probably say that every single year in both hoops and football. Nature of the beast. We'll have a B10 Tournament preview next week and a 1st/2nd round NCAA Tournament preview the following week. Hopefully with more to come after that.

PS - I have a wedding at 6 pm on Selection Sunday. What's the protocol for filling out brackets mid-vows? Is it a digital-only type of situation? I can see paper being burdensome and possibly drawing attention. But I can turn the brightness on my phone all the way down and put Wisconsin in the Final Four discretely, yeah? Rule #1 of life: Don't have your wedding on a Wisconsin Gameday. Rule #3 of life: Don't have your wedding IMMEDIATELY on the heels of Selection Sunday.

QUADRUPLE PS - Rule #5 of life: Never trust a person who prefers cats over dogs. Woof.