Wisconsin is one of those teams that no one should ever count out no matter how bad things look.
Yes, the Badgers trailed by 11 at halftime against Arkansas Saturday night in the third-place game of the Las Vegas Invitational.
But the Badgers have a knack for being resilience, something that will serve them well going forward, and they ended the night with a 77-70 victory over the Razorbacks.
It would have been easy for Wisconsin to fold after trailing 40-29 at halftime. One night earlier, it had been knocked off by 10 against Creighton (84-74).
The word quit, however, isn’t in the vocabulary of the Badgers.
“We needed this one,” Mike Bruesewitz said in a post-game press conference. “This is a big win for us. We grinded this out and showed a lot of heart.”
The heart of the Badgers has never been questioned. They are a blue collar team that will find ways to win even when the odds say they should lose.
Teamwork was the key against Arkansas. Bruesewitz was one of five players in double figures, pouring in 11 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Sam Dekker poured in 19 points. Ryan Evans clicked for 12 points. Traevon Jackson scored 11 and Jared Berggren added 10 points to go with nine rebounds and four blocks.
The Badgers shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the floor in the second half. The Razorbacks shot only 32.4 percent in the final 20 minutes.
Wisconsin flat out got the job done. No fiery halftime speech was necessary to motivate the Badgers.
“There was nothing said in that locker room at halftime that wasn’t said before the game,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said in a post-game press conference. “The guys just executed better and stuck to our plan.”
The plan worked against Arkansas on Saturday night, and considering you can never count out the Badgers, the plan will work on other nights as well.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at email@example.com.