Blog Entry

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

Posted on: March 25, 2011 11:20 am

Posted by Matt Norlander

There is no easier, lazier, misguided writing assignment today than to proclaim Duke lost because it inserted Kyrie Irving into its lineup, screwing up the chemistry of the Blue Devils' crew.

This is a waste of your and my time. Duke struggles in the Sweet 16 on the regular. More to the point, it lost because Arizona had an aberration of a performance (stun-worthy!), one that had little to do with the fact Kyrie Irving was on the floor. In fact, the numbers suggest it's even more embarrassing for Mike Krzyzewski if his NBA-bound point guard isn't a part of the demolition. No college basketball team was beating Arizona last night, and that's the biggest thing to take away from Arizona 93, Duke 77.

So let's instead talk about another polarizing, all-encompassing, always-intriguing topic: Wisconsin basketball. Wait! Wait! Don't go. I can tie this in with Duke, you see? Is that enough to keep you around for a few more paragraphs? Because Wisconsin is almost as — if not more so; actually, probably more so — disappointing than Duke in March. This is especially true when you remember — anybody home? — that Duke kind of, sort of won a national title last season. Wisconsin does not come close to winning titles, nor is it expected to, despite consistently ranking high in a number of important tempo-free categories.

When we talk about PASE, we talk about teams who played beyond what they're expected to do; that's what PASE stands for: Performance Above Seed Expectation. How far do you go in the tournament, and are you beating teams you shouldn't be by doing so? Certain teams, like Butler, for instance (how appropriate it was the one to beat the Badgers last night) have incredible PASE. Michigan State's another one.

Duke, which has lost eight of the past 10 years in the tournament to an inferior seed, is put at a "disadvantage" by that misleading stat, as it's often a one or a two. So, in a way, Duke's sort of set up to fail. If it loses before the Final Four, then it's PASE is hindered. Wisconsin's different. Wisconsin isn't consistently holding down bracket from the very top or bottom.

Unfortunately, that focused, clock-burning swing offense comes back to haunt Wisconsin in the Big Bracket, despite so many experts telling us you must play the half-court game in March to win. Yet few teams execute more fastidiously in the half-court than the Badgers. Here they are again, though, executed at the hands of a lower number. It's about matchups, of course, but you can't deny the pattern that's now arced over Bo Ryan's career.

Awesome, awesome coach. Just isn't capable winning with his style once the snow melts.

Last night was the fourth loss in five years for UW in which it was felled by an inferior seed. No. 12 Cornell chopped down Wisconsin's tree last season. Before that, 2008, when Steph Curry captured America's imagination. And five years ago, Wisconsin was a two seed and got clipped by No. 7 UNLV. It's a shame Bo Ryan's teams do this to themselves. Rubbing salt in the wound, bad free-throw shooting last night cost the Badgers the all-time, single-season record for free-throw efficiency.

Wisconsin's loss gets overshadowed by Butler reaching back-to-back Elite Eights and the Duke conversation going full throttle until tonight's second batch of Sweet 16 games start. In a way, Ryan and the Badgers are lucky; if you're going to underwhelm in March, make sure you do it when one of the bluebloods crashes and burns at the same time. Doesn't change the fact the Badgers have been too good for too long to continue to do come up short like this.

Photo: AP

More NCAA tournament coverage
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Duke, Wisconsin

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 28, 2011 11:44 am

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

 they rarely score more than 60 points...

Every year the idiots come out and make this comment.  UW in 10 years under Ryan has averaged just about 70 points per game.  This year they scored  60 points or under on 5 occassions which means they scored more than 60 points 29 times. 

You must be thinking of the Badger's opponents.  They failed to go over 60 points in 20 games.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2011 10:58 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

Builimea; Butlimea, it makes no difference. Yes, Bucky lost 2 games last year, but ASU should have signalled alarms in your antiquated style of play, but it took a pack of Horned Frogs to display that Badger football is nowhere close to the top. By the way; where are the Big 10 schools in the latter stages of March Madness? I'll tell you, AT HOME.Props to Purdue,Ohio State and Wisconsin for continuig the Big 10 tradition of bowing out gracefully when faced with decent competition! Please just accept what you are,which is a mid-major masked as a BCS squad.

Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: March 27, 2011 9:33 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

In response to your recent post:
Wisconsin's football team lost 2 games this year, 1 to Co-champion Michigan State and 1 to an undefeated TCU team. Does that mean the other 10 teams they beat were in the bottom 1/2 of their league? As for the basketball team, isn't Butler the same team that beat Pitt and Florida on their way to the final 4? Wisconsin beat all of the other 6 teams from The Big 10 that went to the NCAA Tournament, as well as a Marquette team that went from The Big East. Your perception of "the bottom 1/2 of the league" is sure a lot different than mine! Oh...and it's Bielema not Builema...

Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: March 27, 2011 6:01 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

Wow, a Minnesota fan saying Wisconsin basketball is a fraud.  Where were you guys during the tournament?  Oh yeah, at home.  Besides, whenever you guys do make the tournament, you are always one and done anyway.

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2011 6:52 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

I posted this in a different article, but it seems to fit pretty well here too...  While I am very diappointed about the Badgers performance in the game against Butler, I don't see any reason to be embarassed or any need to bash Bo Ryan and his system.  Butler is a very good team, and by all accounts underseeded in this years tournament.  The Badgers meanwhile are what they are.  In my opinion they are a team that year in and year out is picked 5th, 6th, or even 7th in the Big Ten and left out of the preseason Top 25 polls.  Every year they outplay their expectations and win 20 to 25 games, finish near the top of the Big Ten, and in every season but one under Ryan, win at least one game in the NCAA tournament.  Do I want more? Of course I do.  It would be great to see them make long runs into the Elite Eight or further.  But I am old enough to vaguely remember the 80's and early 90's when the program was a mess and totally irrelevant.  Dick Bennett started to make a name for this program, and Ryan has made them into a formidable team that on any given day can play with and beat anyone.  He gets a lot out of the players he recruits, and while they may not be five star recruits, they buy into the system and become better players.  Enjoy the run because you never know what will happen after he leaves.  Hopefully they can land someone to keep the ball rolling, but that is easier said than done.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:19 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

I guess a sports editor has an enourmous onus upon them to find a way to pucker up to Krooshawooski in an article that really doesn't even use them as contrast and comparison, more like a paragraph advertisement for how Duke gets a raw deal year after year by playing a schlub team that eliminates them. I do not think 'Zona is a schlub, but I don't know if their play will reach that level again this season. Hell, my Jayhawks have been embarassingly bounced by PASE teams....suck it up, that's what you're supposed to do at this level isn't it. It's not sports, but with my kids academically i often tell them, drop the why nots and get to work on your gpa (life's golden ticket).

Perhaps each article should begin with "Why Duke is held back from winning 20 consecutive championships, oh and stuff about another team you may know.Followed by a skit by Jimmer, ala Napoleon Dynamite. There are compelling stories in every tourney. I dont think that a man having a 4 yr olds name is one of them....he will be a 2nd or3rd offthebench in the NBA unless he gets more dimension.......sorry, now Im drifting away from central point.

Did you notice how it seemed the writer here was concerned that if he talked Badgers, everyone would leave, so I quote his immortal words: "So let's instead talk about another polarizing, all-encompassing, always-intriguing topic: Wisconsin basketball. Wait! Wait! Don't go. I can tie this in with Duke, you see?"  Sorta like Cartman promising punch and pie, his article reeks of desperation to draw attention to a worthy story by throwing Duke in to sweeten the deal.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2011 12:15 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

 Is it just me or do Wisconsin's basketball fortunes mirror their own football program? Both are vastly overrated based on the fact that they beat up on the bottom half of the league in both sports and struggle with anybody that has any measure of talent. This ,along with the FACT that the Big 10 is by far, the most overrated and over-hyped conference in the country garners Bucky national unwarranted national attention on a yearly basis. Yes, the conference known as " Ohio State and the rest of them" has a wonderful TV packet and just because the Evil 4-letter network constantly tells America how great the league is does not translate into reality. Also, it always seems like the post-game media interviews with the players ends up as a rather embarrassing moment with grown dudes crying their eyes out after what to them, was an unexpected defeat. I find myself wanting to sob myself until Bo Ryan or Builema comes to the student-athletes defense.

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:47 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 3, 2007
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:45 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

Any criticism of Wisconsin is fair game at this point, considering the utter embarrassment of last night's game.  But I am not as concerned about the seeding issue that this article is bringing up so much.  Seeds can be very misleading in the fact that the NCAA selection committee often messes them up (Butler an 8 this year?).  I am not making excuses here, believe me.  I think the more glaring issue is the fact that Wisconsin keeps losing to so called "mid-majors" all of the time.  Not all inferior seeds are mid majors.  Not all better seeds are major conference teams.  Just off of the top of my head, I can think of only one year in the past several, where a major conference team beat Wisconsin in the tourney.  Arizona won an 8-9 game handily 3 or 4 years ago.  Otherwise, the losses include Butler, Cornell, Xavier, UNLV.  There is certainly correlation between the inferior seeds and being a mid major, but it is still in interesting point.  I truly feel that Wisconsin would have been better served playing Pittsburgh this year.  Not that Pittsburgh was not a very good team, I just think Wisconsin played better against the major conference teams during the tournament over the past decade.  Oh well.  It's too bad.  Wisconsin is alwas a really good regular season team, they just have not gotten over the hump in the tourney. 

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 25, 2011 1:31 pm

Wisky's tourney play as disappointing as Duke's

Thanks for shedding the fraud that Bo Ryan and Wisconsin basketball truly are.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or