For the second consecutive day, the clock was not the friend of the Wisconsin Badgers. In the Rose Bowl, Russell Wilson tried to spike the ball to stop the clock with two seconds remaining, but the clock expired by the time the ball hit the ground and Wisconsin had its heart broken for the second straight year in the Rose Bowl. One would think it couldn't get any worse the following day in basketball against the hated Michigan State Spartans, right? Wrong.
With the Badgers trailing 63-60 in overtime, junior forward Ryan Evans rebounded a miss by Jordan Taylor and banked in a 3-pointer to send it to double overtime, or so we thought. The backboard clock and stadium clock were not in sync as the backboard clock was at 0.0 seconds when the ball was still in Evans' hand, while the stadium clock still had two-tenths of a second left. Since the backboard clock is official, that won out and Badgers fans had their heart broken twice in a row.
With the loss, Wisconsin has lost two consecutive home games for the first time since the 2008-09 season when it dropped two close games in a row to the Minnesota Gophers and Purdue Boilermakers. The Badgers' three losses at home this season also is tied for the most in a season under Bo Ryan. Wisconsin also lost three home games in that 2008-09 season as it also lost to Texas.
In the game last night the Badgers jumped out to a 10-5 lead, but made just one field goal in a nine minute span, however Michigan State failed to capitalize as the Badgers took a 22-21 lead into halftime.
With the Badgers down 50-45, Taylor and Jared Berggren each made baskets to cut the lead to one and following a Michigan State miss, Taylor was fouled and went to the line. He made just one to tie the game. Michigan State's Keith Appling missed a shot at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Michigan State built a 61-54 lead, but Wisconsin battled back on the strength of two 3-pointers by Taylor, but Evans's shot was too late that would have tied the game at 63-63 and sent it into a second overtime.
On a positive note for Wisconsin, Taylor was his normal self, scoring a game-high 28 points on 7-11 shooting and was 12-16 from the free throw line, but that late free throw miss came back to haunt the Badgers.
“Without [Jordan Taylor] doing what he did, we wouldn’t all be waiting around here so long for a decision," Ryan said. "But, like anything else, you need help. We needed help on scoring."
The Badgers once again struggled from the field, shooting just 33.3 percent and 22.7 percent from behind the 3-point line. Even the 3-point percentage is a bit deceiving as the Badgers made two late 3-pointers and were 3-19 from there going into the final minutes.
Draymond Green led the Spartans with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Appling added 16 points and was the go-to player for Michigan State down the stretch of regulation and into overtime.
It doesn't get any easier for Wisconsin as the Badgers go on the road for the next two games against Michigan on Sunday before playing at Purdue Jan. 12.
“It’s definitely a tough loss, but I recall two years ago Ohio State started 0-2 in the league and went on to win it or at least a share of it, so there’s a lot of basketball left," Taylor said. "We put ourselves in a hole, but we go to Michigan next, play a good team on the road, a place where we’ve had some success and hopefully we can correct the things we aren’t doing right and get a win there and start a winning streak.”