Minnesota-Wisconsin: Gophers Steal One from Badgers

Bleacher Report Senior Analyst IJanuary 16, 2009

The last time the Badgers lost to Minnesota in the state of Wisconsin was in 1994 (if you ignore the scandal at the time), when I was a prepubescent 10-year old boy. Some of you may have been older, some of you may have been younger. But the point is, that was 15 years ago, and like me, you probably don't remember it either.

The 2008-09 Badgers took care of that on Thursday night, giving us a new memory of a Gophers win in Wisconsin. They should be commended for their effort, as they were down 14 at one point, and were down nine points with 3:24 to play. They fought hard, played great defense down the stretch, and made their big shots when they needed to. The Gophers earned this victory.

As for the Badgers, this was another example of how they only beat the teams they are better than, and can't beat the teams that are ranked. Again, the win against then-ranked Michigan doesn't count because the Wolverines' ranking was a fluke.

While I've previously said that I'm not worried about the Badgers, a loss like this at home to the Gophers isn't a good sign for things to come. This was a game Wisconsin had won several times. Every time the Gophers would start to crawl back and make things interesting, the Badgers would pull away. Every time except for the last time.

So it's a 78-74 loss that will be haunting the Badgers all season, especially if they struggle enough to be considered nothing more than a bubble team. I still think the Badgers' best basketball is yet to come, but after tonight's loss, it's safe to say that I'm not as confident in that statement as I was a week ago.