I just got home from a basketball game where the Wisconsin Badger’s lost to North Dakota State. The Badgers had one of the flattest performances I’ve ever seen, with a shooting percentage of 22%. They only made 16 of 72 attempted shots.
The North Dakota State Bison, who are playing their first year as a division one team, made 50% of their field goal attempts, in a well-played upset of the nationally ranked Badgers. Wisconsin only made 16 of 72.
The last time the Badgers lost to a non-conference opponent on their home court was against Wake Forest, in December of 2002. I certainly don’t expect Wisconsin to be perfect at home, especially with the toughness of the Big Ten conference. However, I also did not expect them to lose today against an upstart division one team. I do expect a team that throws up 72 shots to make more than 16 of them.
North Dakota State does deserve a lot of credit. They walked into a a hostile arena against a nationally ranked team and played with an intensity that the Badgers could not match. North Dakota’s defense against Wisconsin, especially under the basket, was a big factor in the Badgers low shooting percentage.
Bright spots? Alando Tucker, who’s been struggling from the foul-line made the first seven of his free throws (he finished with 77% from the line). One of the biggest cheers the crowd had this afternoon was when he made his first two from the line.
For the record, the biggest cheer of the day occurred at halftime, when one of the fans in the Wisconsin student section sunk a half-court shot to win season tickets for next year. He made his layup, made his free throw, and had twenty seconds left to make the half-court shot. It only took him two tries, giving the student a shooting percentage of 75%.
But the Badgers only made 16 of 72.