Illini-Badgers: Wisconsin Loses, Yet Again

Bleacher Report Senior Analyst IJanuary 25, 2009

Wisconsin Badgers athletics have officially gone down the tube, at least as far as this year is concerned. Just months after the Badgers football team completely offended every fan within the great state of Wisconsin, Badgers basketball seems to be on a mission to do the same.

Bo Ryan's squad dropped their fourth straight game in the Big Ten on Saturday, this time by a score of 64-57 to Illinois. It's the first time they've dropped four straight games in the Big Ten since the 1997-1998 season.

An inability to come through in the clutch coupled with a 35.6 shooting percentage ultimately led to the Badgers' demise in this one. The loss puts them at 3-4 in the Big Ten, and now 12-7 on the season. A decent record, sure, but not something the Badgers have been used to in years past.

Clearly, the No. 1 thing this team is missing is a go-to guy. They have nobody to answer in the clutch, and nobody to give them a comfortable lead. That's kind of always been the Bo Ryan mantra though, to have an emphasis on the team first.

It's worked in the past, but this year the Badgers just can't keep up with the competition. And with Landry and Krabbenhoft leaving after this season, one has to wonder how much longer Bo Ryan's system can bring success to Wisconsin.

I'm not by any means suggesting the termination of Ryan's tenure with the team. I'm just saying maybe it's time for him to think of other philosophies about how to win a ballgame. It seems he's already ready to shake things up a bit for the remainder of the season, as he's planning to play more of a three-guard offense featuring freshman Jordan Taylor.

The Badgers won't have long to test out the new offense before it premieres though, as they have an upcoming showdown with Purdue this Tuesday. After that, they'll face Northwestern, so at least we know the losing streak will come to an end within the next two games.