The Wisconsin Badgers are playing their best basketball at the right time. After today’s gritty win at Penn State over the improving Nittany Lions, the Badgers have now won seven consecutive games and remain in contention to potentially share the Big Ten regular season championship. Furthermore, and far more importantly, they remain in contention for a No. 1 seed in the big dance.
Penn State’s D.J. Newbill was once again terrific for coach Pat Chambers‘ team on Sunday afternoon. The junior guard had 23 points, however, it was the Badgers who came away victorious, winning by a score of 71-66. Bo Ryan‘s bunch had five players who contributed at least nine points, and they were led by Josh Gasser with 15.
The Badgers’ depth this season has allowed Ryan and his staff to do a plethora of things. Wisconsin has had the same starting lineup for all 29 of their games this season, but their bench has really been a hidden gem. Freshman big man Nigel Hayes has an exceptionally polished game in the post and looks as if he is going to develop into some kind of player in his time at Madison. And the other freshman who gets significant minutes, Bronson Koenig, appears on his way to becoming the next Gasser or Ben Brust.
This depth is going to be huge for the Badgers down the stretch as they look to make a deep run in the upcoming NCAA tournament. They have the talent, experience and leadership to make it all the way to Dallas for the Final Four, and will surely be a tough out for any opposition.