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Three Things: Wisconsin Basketball vs. Minnesota



Chucky Hepburn

Wisconsin Badgers basketball resumed Big Ten play with another rendition of the border battle as they took on the Minnesota Gophers. Thanks to Big Ten Plus, we haven’t seen the Badgers in quite some time. I forgot how fun this team is as they took down Minnesota 63-60 on Tuesday night, improving to 11-2.

Here are three things from the Badgers win. 

Tyler Wahl’s Injury

Wisconsin had to play the majority of this game without their leading scorer and rebounder Tyler Wahl. In the first half, Wahl came down awkwardly and turned his right ankle. After trying to push through the injury, Wahl left the game and headed to the locker room. He later returned to the bench but at the start of the second half, it was announced he would miss the remainder of the game. 

Now, not to speculate, but I hope this is just a minor ankle sprain for Wahl. The front-court depth for Wisconsin was already in question this season. Without Wahl, guys like Carter Gilmore and Markus Ilver must step up if this is a couple of game absence for Tyler. Both did a good job tonight, especially Ilver who came in the first half knocked down a three, and played some impressive defense on Dawson Garcia. As we advance, if Wahl misses more time, these guys must continue to play well. 

Wisconsin Basketball Continued Dominance 

The Badgers have dominated this historic rivalry as of late. They have now won 14 of the last 16 matchups against the Gophers. In what has been a historically intense rivalry sitting at 100-98 in favor of the Badgers, it’s impressive to see such a dominant stretch. Never take for granted beating your rivals this often.

First Since…2014-2015

This is the first time Wisconsin has started 3-0 in the Big Ten since that magical 2014-2015 team did so. Don’t get me wrong, I think we all can agree that this team isn’t as talented as that one, but they sure do know how to win. They have already shown many ways to win games and I hope they use this 3-0 start as momentum for the rest of Big Ten play and beyond.

A quick shoutout to Max Klesmit. Jamison Battle is the Gopher’s best player, and he was completely shut down by Klesmit. Max forced him into 6 turnovers and held him in check all night. Klesmit was giving me major Josh Gasser vibes with that performance tonight. Wisconsin’s defense as a whole is why they won this game. Forcing Minnesota into 20 turnovers and scoring 19 points off those turnovers. 

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