7:53 p.m. - There will be a game tonight. Right now not a whole lot of fans to witness it in person. Iowa is letting anyone with a student ID in for free so there's a pretty big crowd of students. Other than that, I'd be surprised if there were 2,000 other people here.
It stopped snowing in Iowa City at about 3:30 p.m. As of right now, we are planning on bussing back to Madison after the game. I'm sure it will be a pretty long ride back. A win would make it seem a little shorter.
8:01 p.m. - Couple things before we get started. The picture above is from our practice last night, not tonight's game. There are a few more people in the stands than that.
I'm working off my wireless card, not any sort of wireless network in the building, so hopefully the updates will be able to come as quickly as usual. If they don't now you know why.
Either a lot of people were REALLY interested in the snow storm we encoutered or a lot of people stayed home from work and school because the travel blog had more than 3,000 hits, which is really high for a non-gameday blog.
8:05 p.m. - All the fans must have been at the concession stands or in the bathroom because the crowd is pretty good right now. There are definitely some empty pockets but the size of the crowd has definitely more than doubled since my last report, and that was just 10 minutes ago.
8:07 p.m. - Even though there's about 30 inches of snow outside, it is really warm in here. Marcus wins the tap but Butch misses the first shot of the game.
8:09 p.m. - Gorney hits an outside jumper follwed by a travel by Trevon (aka Pop). Marcus down low with UW's first hoop.
8:13 p.m. - Couple turnovers both ways and it's Badgers' ball. Butch with a miss down low. Tate goes baseline, scores and gets fouled, leading to the first TV timeout. Hawkeyes lead 4-2 with 15:27 left.
8:16 p.m. - Tate makes the FT. Mike with a miss on a three. Stiemsma with a steal leading to Marcus posterizing an Iowa player with a MONSTER dunk. Stiemsma gets a block on the other end.
8:18 p.m. - Joe misses down low but Mike flies in for the tap and the Badgers' first lead. Some great D and rotation leads to an Iowa turnover. Marcus misses on a free-throw line jumper. Freeman splashes a three.
8:21 p.m. - Greg ties it with a jump hook. On the other end, I think J-Bo just picked up his first career blocked shot. Who else but Joe gets on the floor to battle for the ball and it goes out of bounds off of Iowa. UW ball after the TV timeout with the score tied at 8-8 and 11:42 left.
8:23 p.m. - When J-Bo checked in, he didn't receive the warmest welcome. Pop with a fallaway three that misses as the shot clock is running down. Iowa with a miss then Marcus is fouled down low.
8:28 p.m. - Marcus hits down low but Gorney answers outside. Leuer with a miss down low. Stiemsma with another block but Marcus misses down low. Greg with a foul on the rebound. Mass substitutions for Bucky as it's the starters minus Marcus plus Leuer. Freeman splashes a three then Flowers with a nice pass to Butch down low. He can't convert but is fouled. He'll go to the line after the TV timeout. Iowa leads 13-10 with 7:29 left. Not sure anyone is going to see 50 points today.
8:33 p.m. - Brian hits both. Gorney on the other end with a drive and bucket. After a UW miss, Gorney splashes another outside shot. Butch answers with a trey.
8:35 p.m. - Just like last year, J-Bo is booed every time he touches it. And like last year, he splashes the first trey he takes. His next one goes in and out but Butch rebounds, puts it back and gets fouled. He misses but UW leads 20-19.
8:37 p.m. - Iowa works the shot clock all the way down and gets the ball inside. They miss but Butch is called for the foul. The Hawkeyes will be going to the line after the TV timeout. UW leads 20-19 with 3:41 left.
8:39 p.m. - Guess I shortchanged J-Bo a little. That was actually the fourth blocked shot of his career earlier. Also, since I haven't given him any credit, Mike Gard is actually responsible for a lot of the practice photos from the past two games (happy now Mike?). Tate hits both to put Iowa back on top.
8:41 p.m. - Iowa with an alley-oop to get the crowd going but Marcus answers with a bucket down low. Iowa goes up for another jam but Marcus blocks it. Pop fouled on the drive.
8:42 p.m. - J-Bo hits a runner but is called for an offensive foul about four seconds after the basket. Freeman comes down and splashes a three. Mike answers with a reverse layup.
8:45 p.m. - Ed Hightower goes over to talk to Bo, prompting a "Sit down Bo" chant from the crowd. The same official that called the foul on J-Bo just called a charge on Iowa as Marcus hit the deck right in front of UW's bench. They are now going to the monitor, presumably to see who the foul was on.
8:48 p.m. - Freeman splashes a deep three but Marcus answers with a foul-line jumper. Iowa calls TO with 5.9 seconds left. Johnson just misses a desperation three at the horn. Halftime score is Iowa, 29-26.
8:59 p.m. - Quick game so far. According to the GameTracker stats (found on Iowa's web site) Freeman has 12 points on four 3-pointers and Gorney has eight points. Marcus has 10 points and Brian has seven. Here come the official stats. Badgers shot 42.3 percent from the field, Iowa 44.0 percent. Stats are pretty even. Guess that's why the score is as well.
9:05 p.m. - Iowa ball to start and Tate scores down low. Joe drives baseline and finds Marcus for an easy one. Pop drives and misses but Butch cleans it up. Iowa calls TO, leading 31-30 with 18:32 left.
9:11 p.m. - At timeouts, the Hawk throws pairs of socks into the crowd. New, clean socks, but they're still socks. Pop draws a charge on defense and Joe drives the middle and scores to put UW back in front. Not for long as Freeman hits another three.
9:13 p.m. - Flowers comes back with a three that rattles in and out, then back in. Iowa misses on the other end and Marcus misses a jumper but it goes out of bounds off Iowa. TV timeout with UW leading 35-34 with 15:27 left.
9:17 p.m. - The spelling thing has seemed to have moved down south. Iowa is a lot easier to spell than Minnesota, however. Pop threw up a three off the out of bounds and must have come down wrong because he is holding his ankle. Henry is tending to him right now. He's up and walks to the bench gingerly.
9:19 p.m. - Freeman is fouled and makes both. Marcus has the ball stolen but he steals it back on the other end. Mike misses a three.
9:22 p.m. - Iowa's Peterson is fouled on a drive and hits both. I think Iowa is 7-of-7 from the line today. Marcus misses on the other end but Joe is there for the rebound and putback. Iowa with two misses but two offensive boards. Gorney finally scores for them. Joe comes back with a short jumper off the glass. J-Bo called for a foul on Peterson, bringing us to the TV timeout. Iowa leads 40-39 with 11:38 left.
9:24 p.m. - During the TO, Pop (Trevon) was outside the team huddle for a bit with Henry trying to put wieght on his ankle. Looks like he's good to go because he's checking back in.
9:27 p.m. - Freeman tests Pop right away by launching a three. He misses. Marcus with a miss down low. Iowa called for an offensive goaltending. Pop hits his first shot of the game, a three as the shot clock buzzer goes off. UW with a steal and Stiemsma is fouled down low.
9:30 p.m. - Butch misses and it looks like it goes off Iowa but the call is off UW. The Badgers respond with great D, a Flowers block causing an Iowa shot clock violation. Pop is then fouled taking a three. He makes one.
9:33 p.m. - Tate is fouled down low and he makes two. Joe is fouled driving to the hoop, only Iowa's fifth. Brian rims out a good look at a three and Iowa is fouled going to the hoop. They will shoot free throws after the TV timeout. UW leads 43-42 with 7:15 left.
9:39 p.m. - Peterson makes one and we're tied. Marcus has the ball knocked away. Brian called for a hold on Freeman. He goes to the line and makes one. Landry with a spin move down low and is fouled on the shot. Marcus makes both.
9:40 p.m. - Iowa misses and Brian is fouled down low. He misses from the line. Pop with a steal then is fouled by Peterson going for the ball. He misses but UW gets the offesnive board. Michael with a sweet behind the back look to Butch who buries a three. TO Iowa. Badgers lead 48-44 with 5:17 left.
9:44 p.m. - Iowa misses but gets the offensive board. Butch fouls Tate down low, Brian's fourth of the game. Tate misses both.
9:46 p.m. - Michael with a miss on a drive and Johnson comes down on the fast break and pulls up. We now have a debate whether it's a two or a three. They'll check it out as we have our last TV timeout. Right now the scoreboard shows UW leading 48-47 with 3:39 left.
9:50 p.m. - It is a three, so the score is correct. Gorney called for a foul on J-Bo. Lots of boos for J-Bo on the line. He splashes both.
9:52 p.m. - Johnson misses a three and J-Bo gets the rebound and is fouled. He makes both.
9:54 p.m. - UW forces a shot clock violation by Iowa but Joe travels on the other end. Iowa misses but Tate gets the rebound. Marcus fouls him and Tate makes both.
9:55 p.m. - Flowers drives the lane for an acrobatic lay-up. Freeman misses a three but Tate rebounds and puts it back. Iowa TO with UW leading 54-51 with 1:32 left.
9:57 p.m. - Landry misses down low and Flowers with a near steal. Iowa ball with 59 seconds left. Landry with a big block. Johnson fouls J-Bo with 32.8 left. He makes both.
9:59 p.m. - Peterson drains a three for Iowa with 25.6 left and the Hawkeyes call TO. 56-54 UW.
10:02 p.m. - So much for a quick game and no one getting over 50. Iowa with fullcourt pressure. UW can't get it in so they call TO.
10:05 p.m. - Badgers get the ball to J-Bo, who then gets it to Joe. He almost gets it to a wide-open Marcus but Joe is fouled. Joe hits both. Johnson misses a three and Landry gets fouled on the rebound. Marcus makes both. Badgers win 60-54.
11:32 p.m. – Like Coach said to me as we were waiting to do the post-game television, after I told him, “Nice win,” he responded, “That was a GREAT win right there.” Iowa sure plays every possession tough. It was kind of like watching a mirror image of us. I can almost guarantee that these will be great battles between Coach Ryan’s teams and Coach Lickliter’s teams in the coming years.
That was a battle of wills and we made just enough plays down the stretch to win. We were also great from the line down the stretch, making all 10 of our free throws in the final 3:30. The big shot was Brian Butch’s 3-pointer with 5:26 left that gave UW a four-point lead. Up until that point, UW’s biggest lead in the game was three.
Some of the unsung heroes tonight were the parents that made the long trip to the game. In talking to Brian Butch’s dad, he said it took him eight hours to get down from Appleton. He left around noon and got to Carver-Hawkeye about 10 minutes into the game. Joe Krabbenhoft’s dad also made the drive from South Dakota, coming in on the back end of the storm. He said the roads weren’t too bad until he got around Iowa. There were lots of Bohannons there, who didn’t have to come from too far away.
After the game, J-Bo was very popular with the local media. He knocked down six big free throws, much to the dismay of the anit-J-Bo Iowa crowd. They booed every time he touched the ball and they were especially loud when he was at the line. Only one or two of his free throws actually hit the rim.
We are on the bus right now and the roads seem decent, knock on wood. We got out of the arena about 10:30 p.m. We’re taking it slow in some spots so we’re not going to get home any time too soon. Bo made it very clear to the players in the locker room that the late arrival home would not be an excuse to miss any classes. We don’t practice tomorrow so they will have plenty of time to rest after their classes.
11:45 a.m. - One last update. We made it back to the Kohl Center around 3:20 a.m. The ride took a little under five hours in all. It was slow moving but there were no scares or anything. We did see one jacknifed semi that ended up in the median, heading south on 151. The roads were actually a little better in Wisconsin than in Iowa.
We watched the game and ate our pizza for the first part of the ride. Once the game was over, the lights went off and most guys tried to catch some zzzs. I caught Coach Ryan finishing up some crossword puzzles.
It ended up being a pretty good thing that we got out last night because reports from some folks who stayed behind and left today were that the roads were really backed up and moving even slower than we did last night. Big props have to be given to Dennis our bus driver for getting us home safe and my wife for waking up at 4 a.m. and helping me shovel my way into our driveway after the plows left about four feet of snow blocking the entrance.