12:47 p.m. - Should be a pretty good atmosphere here today. The students started filing in an hour before tip time. There were also a bunch of them that "welcomed" us as we made our way through the lobby upon our arrival.
Unlike last year, I am courtside today, which means staring at a lot of legs and shoes. The perspective is really wierd. Take a look at some of the pictures from yesterday's blog to get an idea. Hopefully no stray balls or players end up in my lap today. That would definitely put an end to the Courtside Blog for the day.
12:55 p.m. - As always, there is a fairly significant smattering of Badger fans in attendance today. Not nearly as many as last year, when it was about 65-35 in favor of the Gophers but there are definitely some pockets here and there. A couple brave souls have even worked their way into the UM student section. In case we didn't know where we were, the crowd just literally spelled it out for us.
1:01 p.m. - The coaching staffs for both teams are wearing sneakers today in conjucntion with raising awarness for Coaches vs. Cancer. Looks like Minnesota has all coordinated footwear where as the Badgers are a little all over the board.
1:06 p.m. - They just made a presentation to Tubby Smith to honor his 400th carrer victory, which happened last week at Michigan. Now the starting lineups. The home crowd does not like Joe. Or Brian for for that fact.
1:08 p.m. - Marcus wins the tip. Butch turns it over with a 5-second violation. But Trevon gets a steal and layup.
1:10 p.m. - Marcus takes Tollackson to the basket, scores and gets fouled. 5-0 Badgers. Butch gets doubled and throws it away. Layup for UM.
1:14 p.m. - Marcus with an acrobatic hoop. Another Minnesota miss leads to Joe getting an offensive rebound and hitting a cutting Landry for the hoop. Marcus called for a charge but score the basket. 9-2 Wisconsin with 15:56 left.
1:17 p.m. - Nice ball movement results in a three for Pop. Down the other end Greg picks up his second foul in about 30 seconds. Tollackson scores but Trevon beats the ball pressure and goes to the basket for a layup.
1:23 p.m. - Pop with a great lookaway pass (he actually looked right at me) then hit Flowers for what looked like a three but it was a long two. Butch then beats the shot clock with a three and it's 19-8 Badgers. Flowers comes up with a steal and we get a TV timeout. UW leads 19-8 with 11:28 left.
1:24 p.m. - The Badgers are shooting 80.0 percent from the field.
1:27 p.m. - They gave Flowers a three on that Trevon lookaway so its now 20-8. Minnesota puts some pressure on so Brian "Magic" Butch breaks it and draws a foul on Abu-Shamala. Pop misses a three but J-Bo gets the rebound. That leads to Flowers finding Pop down low and him getting fouled. He makes both.
1:28 p.m. - Pop with a steal and what I beleive is his first collegiate dunk. After a Minnesota basket, Joe breaks the Minnesota pressure and feeds Brian for a layup. UW leads 26-10.
1:33 p.m. - Joe finds J-Bo for an open three and he drains this one. So much for a shooting slump. Pop fouls Tollackson down low and he makes both. Couple up and down trips and Flowers gets fouled going for an offensive rebound. Another TV timeout with UW leading 29-14 with 7:20 left.
1:38 p.m. - Another nice fast break by UW as it goes from Pop to J-Bo to Flowers for the lay-up. Nolan answers with a three. Minnesota then gets a couple baskets down low and this place is pretty loud. Bo calls a TO with the Badgers leading 31-21 and 5:03 left.
1:41 p.m. - Pop gets his shot blocked down low then gets called for a foul, his second.
1:43 p.m. - Badgers with a shot clock violation and it brings us to our final media timeout of the half. UW leads 31-21 with 3:52 left. Trevon has 11 points and Marcus has seven, but those all came very early. UW shooting 57.1 percent from the field.
1:46 p.m. - Sloppy possession by Minnesota leads to a steal by Krabbenhoft. On the other end, UM goes zone. Mike with a nifty pass to Marcus down low for a lay-up. Mike then forces a travel call on Minnesota. UM out of the zone but Mike drives to the basket and gets fouled. In bounds goes to Butch who gets blocked, Flowers finds Joe, who misses a three, but Marcus rebounds and gets fouled. He makes both.
1:50 p.m. - Brian shot fakes Tollackson out of his shoes on a three then drives the basket for two. A couple empty possesions for both teams then Tollackson gets fouled. Joe then drives the lane and hits a floater. The Badgers hold on D on Minnesota's final possesion and go into halftime leading 39-23.
1:58 p.m. - Four our halftime entertainment, it's the racing collies. Not sure that's their name but they pretty much just race up and down the court. I'm trying to take some pics of it, they're not coming out great. I'll try and post them on the bus ride home.
2:01 p.m. - Some halftime stats: UW is shooting 57.7 percent and Trevon and Marcus both have 11. Joe's got four assists. Minnesota is shooting 40.9 percent.Tollackson leads the Gophers with six points.
2:07 p.m. - Pop starts the half with a three as the shot clock is winding down. Minnesota misses down low but Marcus is blocked on the other end. UM with a bucket in the lane. Butch fouled on the drive.
2:09 p.m. - After a Hughes steal, Flowers splashes a three to put UW up 20.
2:13 p.m. - Tubby is not happy with the effort of his guys and brings in five new guys. They get a steal but UM called for the charge trying to drive inside. Pop travels. Minnesota misses a three and Pop rebounds. Joe gets fouled on the drive, bringing us to our first TV timeout of the half. UW leads 45-25 with 15:44 left.
2:20 p.m. - Jon Leuer scores on a drive, breaking a long scoring drought for both teams. Williams then scores down low for UM and gets fouled. He hits the free throw.
2:23 p.m. - Damien Johnson hits two more free throws. Mike misses a three and UM misses one at the other end. Greg goes up big for the rebound and gets fouled. Mike dribbles out of bounds to give Minnesota the ball and bring us to the TV timeout. UW leads 47-30 with 11:27 left.
2:29 p.m. - Couple more misses for both teams but Pop comes up with a steal and gets fouled going for the layup. He makes one.
2:31 p.m. - Coleman with a bucket and UW turns it over. UM returns the favor. Trevon gets trapped in the corner in the backcourt and needs to call TO. Badgers lead 48-32 with 8:54 left.
2:35 p.m. - J-Bo with a great save of a ball that was going out of bounds, right to Butch for the lay-in. UM answers. Joe gets the ball down low and is fouled. He'll shoot free throws after the TV timeout. UW leads 50-34 with 7:59 left.
2:39 p.m. - Joe hits one. Minnesota with a pair of misses and Joe comes away with the rebound. J-Bo then splashes a three. On the other end, Coleman fights for an offensive rebound, puts it back and gets fouled. He makes it.
2:41 p.m. - Some more sloppy play but Minnesota splashes a three. Michael looks like he hurt his elbow. Badgers lead 54-40 with 4:53 left. Butch in for Flowers.
2:45 p.m. - Bo has been working the officials for some calls on the Minnesota's handsy defense. He finally gets one and Brian hits two free throws. Minnesota misses but Landry can't save the orebound. Ball goes out of bounds, UM ball after the TV timeout. UW leads 56-40 with 3:51 left.
2:48 p.m. - Hughes just stole the UM inbounds pass, went the length of the floor and made the layup and got fouled. He makes the free throw.
2:50 p.m. - McKenzie answers with a three and then Pop gets poked in the eye. With the shot clock running down, Pop gets fouled running off of Brian's screen. Pop makes both.
2:52 p.m. - Pop with a killer crossover but can't finish. Minnesota gets the rebound but steps out of bounds. UW with a shot clock wiolation after Pop is mauled but no call. Westbrook scores for UM and they call TO. UW leads 61-47 with 1:19 left.
2:54 p.m. - Pop looks like he's trapped but gets the ball to JBo. Bo obvioulsy didn't like where it was going because he called TO from the bench.
2:56 p.m. - UW breaks the UM press with a pretty pass from Pop to Joe for a reverse layup. After a stop, Bo clears the bench. Looks like a UW win. I'll check back ion on the bus.
4:30 p.m. – Reporting live from the bus. Took us a little bit to get out of downtown Minneapolis because of the traffic. We got on the bus at 3:45 which should mean we’re home by about 8 p.m., or halftime of that football game that is going on tonight.
That was a very good win to get. We’re watching the game on the bus right now and the BTN announcers started the game by saying that Minnesota was 8-2 at home this season and the two losses (to Michigan State and Indiana) were each by five points. So to go into Williams and really control the game for the majority of the time (the lead didn’t drop below 14 points in the second half) was unexpected.
As I said in the beginning of the blog, the Minnesota crowd showed up ready to get behind their Gophers. However, especially in the second half, the Badgers took the crowd out of it. It got really quiet at times and some veteran observers said it was as quiet as they’ve heard the Barn.
The first half was about as good as you can play on the road. We shot 57.7 percent from the field, held Minnesota to 23 points and only turned it over six times. Eleven of UW’s 18 turnovers came after they stretched the lead to 20 points.
Trevon realty played a complete game. He finished with 20 points, making 6-of-11 shots and 6-of-7 free throws. He also had a career-high-tying six steals, spearheading the Badgers’ stellar defensive effort. For the second straight game, UW limited one of the top scoring teams in the Big Ten to less than 50 points.
Quick turnaround now as we bus home tonight, practice tomorrow in Madison, get back on the bus Tuesday and head to Iowa. When you’re tied for the league lead, it goes without saying that every game is a big game. Iowa has been playing much better, as evidenced by yesterday’s win over Ohio State. We may be ranked in the top 10 by the time the game rolls around, so I would thin the team and the Hawkeyes’ fans would be ready for UW.
6:40 p.m. - Unfortunately the Direct TV and everything is not working out well for us. No Super Bowl thus far. Maybe as we get closer to Madison.