The Wisconsin basketball team entered enemy territory last night with a six-game winning streak and a chance to climb to the top spot in the conference. The Northwestern Wildcats came after a big win over Michigan State in East Lansing and wanted to beat another top-10 opponent.
This was your classic “cheating game” for Wisconsin. A seemingly lesser opponent in front of you with a big game against a ranked opponent just a few days later. It would be easy to see why the Badgers would overlook the Wildcats, who came into the game with a 2-4 conference record.
The Badgers were able to withstand a close game as they have all season long to take their record to 15-2 on the season and the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten standings.
There’s a lot to be learned from this game, but here are the top three things I took away from the Wisconsin basketball team’s latest win.
1. Teams will do everything they can to take Johnny Davis out and still won’t be able to stop him
Johnny Davis won’t sneak up on anyone anymore. He’s a household name for anyone who pays even the slightest bit of attention to college basketball these days. So of course teams will give Davis a lot of attention and focus on taking him out of the game and letting someone else beat them.
Well, we saw how well that worked last night. Davis didn’t exactly take over at the start of the game. The Wildcats would have a man sticking to him and when he had the ball the defenders slumped in quite a bit to help. They were also very physical with him. Bumping into him, reaching in, anything they could do to give him a hard time.
Sure, he got a few phone calls, but there were also a lot of missed calls where he got hit and there was no whistle, including a punch to the face that made his nose bleed. You could tell he wasn’t very happy with the no-call and the TV commentator mentioned it too.
To be fair, pissing Johnny Davis off is probably the last thing you want to do. He doesn’t get out of hand when he gets mad, he just makes you pay for it. He ended up hitting some huge buckets near the end of the game, making the Wildcats’ comeback attempt nearly impossible.
He finished the night with 27 points, hitting 4-for-5 three-point shots and grabbing 8 rebounds. For a man to get that much attention and still put up that stat line is exactly why the Wisconsin basketball star is a front runner for the Naismith Award.