Sunday, March 30, 2014
Home Court: Badgers revert to old habits
By C.L. Brown
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- How long could 2.3 seconds last? It sure felt like an eternity to Wisconsin as officials checked the monitor to determine the game's final possession. The longer it took for a ruling, the more the Badgers realized Arizona would get the ball and for shot to win the game.
With the call reverse and the Wildcats awarded the ball in the West Region final against the Wildcats, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan gave simple instructions as they broke the huddle.
"Alright," Ryan said, "it's time to D up."
Defense had long been the trademark of Ryan and Wisconsin basketball, to the point where this team wanted to change that perception.
All season the players wanted to show Wisconsin basketball could be a program that won with an explosive offense. It was determined to prove the Badgers no longer play a slow, deliberate pace to compensate for being scoring-challenged.
"This was known as defensive program that slows the ball down on offense," center Frank Kaminsky said. "We wanted to play a little bit of our own brand of basketball. We still have those principles instilled in us. So we're still a defensive team."
The Badgers reverted to that old brand of basketball to pull out their 64-63 overtime win against Arizona. And it couldn't be a more fitting way to send Ryan to his first Final Four.