Golden Eagles-Badgers: Wisconsin Blows It Late, Loses to Marquette

Bleacher Report Senior Analyst IDecember 7, 2008

Because of the fact that I write recaps on both the Wisconsin Badgers and the Marquette Golden Eagles, I wasn't really sure what to do with the headline. But when I thought about the game between the two teams on Saturday, I came to the conclusion that while Marquette did rally for a pretty nice comeback, this was ultimately a game that was blown by the Badgers.

The Badgers led for most of the game, but when it came down to it, they just couldn't contain Jerel McNeal. McNeal hit a three-pointer with 5:26 left to put Marquette back in the lead, where they remained until the final whistle. It was part of a 26-point performance from McNeal.

It's no secret that Bo Ryan has always been known for his slow-tempo, defensively minded teams. When it comes to his offense, he usually relies on the big guys in the paint as well as some key three-point shooters. Saturday night, I felt the presence in the paint was non-existent.

Too many times I felt the Badgers just chucked up the ill-advised three, similar to my style of play on NBA 2K9 for Xbox. The barely used their big guys, and they were dominated under the boards all night.

"They attacked the glass as hard as I've seen anybody attack the glass, and we've got to match that," Joe Krabbenhoft told the Associated Press after the game.

This win should get Marquette back into the Top 25, out of which they dropped after an unexpected loss to Dayton in the Chicago Invitational. Other than Wisconsin, though, Marquette has mostly had just a bunch of confidence builders on their schedule. That will change Dec. 16 when they host Tennessee in Bruce Pearl's return to Milwaukee.

As for the Badgers, they fall to 6-2 on the season with losses to Marquette and Connecticut. Not terrible teams to lose to, and I'm not too worried about the Badgers. Their next true test is against Texas at the Kohl Center on Dec. 23.

Right now, though, you have to give the edge to Marquette as the better team of the two. While the Badgers got Marquette to play at Wisconsin's level, Marquette adapted to their style of play and took the victory.