Wisconsin Badgers Off The Mark In Loss to Mississippi Rebels

By Brian Lester
Peter Aiken – USA TODAY Sports Images

Wisconsin can defend as well as any team in the country, but the problem with the Badgers is when they struggle on offense, they struggle badly.

Like on Friday afternoon against Mississippi in its NCAA tournament opener when it shot 15-of-59 from the field.

The Badgers launched up 30 3-pointers as if they were playing pop-a-shot, and all but seven of those treys clanked off the rim in a 57-46 loss to the Rebels.

Defense can take you a long way in basketball, but you have to be able to score some points as well. This just wasn’t the Badgers’ day to put points on the board consistently enough to win the game.

”We won a lot of close games, beat a lot of good teams,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said in a post-game press conference. ”But again, it’s not a team that really shot the ball well all year. It happened again.”

Yes it did. The Badgers led 25-22 at the half, but it didn’t matter. They couldn’t produce on the offensive end in the second half.

This wasn’t the first time Wisconsin has been off the mark on offense. It’s happened plenty of times over the course of the season.

In an NCAA tournament game, though, a team has to be able to click on both ends of the floor to thrive, and the Badgers were far from a team that had its act together.

And now their season is over. The Badgers are the first team from the Big Ten to go down in the tournament.

If the Badgers had shot better, it would have been a different story. On this day, their defense simply wasn’t enough to carry them to a win.

Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.

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