After an ugly first half that saw neither team score efficiently number 22 Wisconsin stepped up in the second half for an important win over number 6 Michigan. Following the show that Indiana put on in the previous game, the Big 10 fans at the United Center had to wait until the second half to see good basketball again. It was the type of game that NBA fans point to as to why they do not like the college game, sloppy play and inability to finish around the rim.
After shooting 17% in the first half, the Badgers missed their first three shot attempts, layups, in the second half but then settled down to finish shooting 39%. With three former NBA players’ sons on the floor, Tim Hardaway Jr and Glen Robinson III for the Wolverines and Traevon Jackson for the Badgers, you would have thought that some stellar play was coming. Well, in the second half those players, along with an impressive showing from Ryan Evans for the Badgers, showed up big for their teams. Hardaway Jr hit back to back three pointers at one point and Jackson ran his team as no one expected he would in the preseason when he was thought to be nothing more than a combo guard off the bench. Instead Jackson went for 16 points and three assists against the player of the year, Trey Burke .
It was the type of half that Badger fans wish they could see their team play more consistently. Under Bo Ryan it is a guarantee that Wisconsin will play physical defense, but it is anyone’s guess what kind of offensive production you will see from this program. It was a tale of two halves for them today, but it will be the worst of times if they do not find some consistency going into March Madness.