3-point shot: Don't count out Badgers


1. I have written this before and it bears repeating: Wisconsin under Bo Ryan is never going to be a second-division Big Ten team. I can't see it. The Badgers are playing without their point guard in Josh Gasser. Wisconsin didn't look like a contender in losses at Florida, to Creighton in Las Vegas or at Marquette or even to Virginia at home. There was reason to be suspect of Wisconsin even after a 2-0 Big Ten start since it involved beating two of the lower-level teams in the league in Penn State and Nebraska. But then Wisconsin blitzed Illinois at home and shocked Indiana in Bloomington as Ryan once again got the best of Tom Crean, much like he did when the two were in-state rivals while Crean coached at Marquette. UW has won 11 straight over Indiana and five in a row in Bloomington. The Badgers have a built in mentality that they will find a way, improve and be in the thick of the conference race by season's end. Check the standings. A team that looked like it was even questionable for the bubble is the only remaining undefeated team in the conference at 4-0 (first since 2007-08) and has a win that no other Big Ten team may get this season -- at Assembly Hall.

2. Maybe Andy Kennedy's luck is really changing after all. Ole Miss came back and had a wild finish at Vanderbilt Tuesday with Marshall Henderson hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime. Ole Miss finally won the game in the extra period and has to be considered a contender with Florida and Missouri for the SEC regular-season title. The Rebels are 3-0 with two road wins. The Henderson 3-pointer will force the discussion yet again about whether or not to foul if a team is up three points with under 10 seconds remaining. Iowa State, Connecticut and now Vanderbilt have all been burned by choosing not to foul in this situation in the past few weeks. Our ESPN analysts Fran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg made good points on the subject this week saying that coaches don't practice this enough to feel confident the players will handle such a chaotic situation.

3. I continue to be amazed over Kevin O'Neill's calm attitude about getting fired Monday at USC. He said he's not bitter. He said this is part of the business. He sounded like he would just move on to the next agenda item on his schedule. That attitude has to come from someone who has been through multiple firings in the NBA. Meanwhile, don't dismiss some NBA interest in the full-time job like former NBA head coach and current ASU assistant coach Eric Musselman.