Who’s in first?

As predicted Wisconsin men’s basketball season fell apart after the departure of guard Kobe King.

To quote from the 1980s: Not (Or “Psych!”) other than the “as predicted” part.

To the contrary, as Jake Kocorowski reports:

The Wisconsin Badgers can accomplish something special on Saturday.

With a win against Indiana, UW (20-10 overall, 13-6 Big Ten) can clinch at least a share of the regular season conference crown. It already has locked down a double-bye in the upcoming Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis next week, but the Badgers’ 63-48 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday has given the program a chance to finish atop the league’s standings.

After all this team has gone through in the last year, to be within a game of earning the Big Ten regular season title, what does it mean to junior Brad Davison?

“Aww man, it’s a blessing for so many reasons,” Davison said after the win against Northwestern. “Going back to the summer, going through the season, just how our team stuck together and (has) really come together and now we have an opportunity to play for the Big Ten regular season title. That’s why you come to school at Wisconsin. That’s why we all wanted to put the W on our chest, to have these sort of opportunities.

“With what we’ve been through, just makes you appreciate the moment and appreciate the opportunity, appreciate the relationships with your teammates and your coaching staff. And man, it’s something that we’re really looking forward to and something we don’t take for granted. I think that’s kind of the biggest thing that we’ve learned over this year — don’t take anything for granted, especially a moment, and an opportunity like this. Because like I said, this is why you come to Wisconsin — to compete for championships in the Big Ten and in the national tournament. We put ourselves in a position to do that, and now we just go out there and take it.”

As of Thursday morning, Wisconsin, No. 16 Michigan State and No. 9 Maryland hold a three-way tie for first place. …

The Badgers will have their hands full [Saturday] with a Hoosiers squad trying to secure an NCAA Tournament berth. Indiana (19-11, 9-10) and its fans will likely have Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall rocking this weekend.

Just to be in position for a share of the title is a huge accomplishment given where the Badgers’ season appeared to be headed after King’s departure and Davison’s one-game suspension before a huge home game against Michigan State.

MSU coach Tom Izzo was critical of his own team after the Badgers’ 64–63 win, but said, “As disappointed as I am with our performance and a little embarrassed. I am happy for (Greg) Gard. I am a coach’s coach. We got our a– kicked by a team playing for their coach.”

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