Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wisconsin beats Minnesota

Wisconsin upped their Big 10 record with a narrow win over Minnesota last night, 64-62 . The win was the third over a Big 10 opponent in the last six days, with previous home wins against Iowa and Michigan State, a preseason Final Four favorite.

Alando Tucker, who was so mad in the final minutes he ripped off his face guard, a precaution left over from a nose injury at the end of November, ended the game with 22 point and 10 boards, including the go ahead layup with a minute to play. He then came up with a big defensive stop that allowed the Badgers to hold on to the game.

Wisconsin (13-2, 3-0), led by as many as 19 points in the first half, amassing a 25-6 lead after 17 minutes of play, and by 14 early in the second before letting the Gophers close the gap and nearly steal the game.

Minnesota's full court defense as well as 22 turnovers that led to 28 Gopher points gave the Badgers a difficult time in the second half.

The Gophers made just 3 field goals the entire first half and were 1-21 to start the game. Wisconsin shot just below 30% from the field, but with Minnesota's poor showing even that was enough to go up by 19.

The Big 10 conference standings are almost comical at this point:

#17 Wisconsin 3-0, 13-2
#8 Indiana 2-0, 10-2
Northwestern 2-0, 9-4
#6 Illinois 1-1, 15-1
#16 Ohio State 1-1, 11-1
Michigan 1-1, 11-2
Iowa 1-1, 12-4
Penn State 0-1, 8-4
#15 Michigan State 0-2, 12-4
Minnesota 0-2, 9-4
Purdue 0-2, 6-7

That's Wisconsin atop a conference with 5 Top 25 teams and every team below them in the conference is ranked above them in the polls.

Looks like it's going to be good times in the Big 10 this year.

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