Wisconsin Basketball: Better Than Average, Nothing More

Commuters in Minneapolis rush hour can get to work in less time than it takes the Wisconsin Badgers to score. Wisconsin (22-8) finds itself consistently looking like the focal point of a wake.

While the chemistry and work ethic are there, the team’s ability to create (other than Jordan Taylor) and find a steady stream of offense are not. The Badgers beat teams with discipline and a sloth’s pace. They frustrate with aggressive, fluid defense and a patient, pass-heavy offense.

It works.

The team has reached the NCAA Tournament in all 11 seasons Bo Ryan has coached. But it only goes so far. No matter how many wins the Badgers collect during the regular season, they cannot get past the more athletic foes.

Not consistently, anyway. Once has UW made it deeper than the Sweet Sixteen, and that was largely due to the fact it played three straight teams seeded 10th or lower.

During Ryan’s tenure, the Badgers have not defeated a top four seed.

That trend may not soon change.

The Badgers are 19-2 this season against unranked teams, compared to 3-6 against the best competition. Ryan gets the most out of his players and runs a good system. But it seems as though there should be a point where finishing 25th in a race becomes unacceptable.

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