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Wisconsin Basketball Falls 98-73 to Arizona: Zero Reason to Worry



Wisconsin basketball; Badgers guard John Blackwell
Dec 9, 2023; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard John Blackwell (25) drives to the net against Arizona Wildcats guard KJ Lewis (5) during the first half at McKale Center. Mandatory Credit: Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball team suffered a tough loss on Saturday afternoon, with the Badgers falling 98-73 to the No. 1 ranked Arizona Wildcats in Tucson.

While the loss is definitely a stinger at the moment, there is zero reason to lose any hope and excitement about this year’s squad.

Hardest Stretch of the Wisconsin Basketball Season Was a Success

Ahead of the season, winning 2/3 games against Marquette, Michigan State, and Arizona would’ve been seen as a magical result — and it still should be.

The Badgers defeated both the Golden Eagles and Spartans by double digits before falling short to the No. 1 ranked Wildcats on the road.

The Badgers chose the best game of the season to take a hard loss — on the road in Tucson, in a matchup that no team in the nation has any business winning this season. Arizona is an elite team, and despite the scoreline, this will go down as a quality, forgettable loss for the program in March. With wins against Virginia, Marquette, and Michigan State already in their pocket, Wisconsin basketball is undoubtedly a solid college basketball team.

Deeper into conference play, games against Ohio State, Indiana, and Northwestern will be an honest telling of how good this team truly is. It’s tough to judge any team based on a non-conference clash against the best team in the nation away from home.

Badgers Young Studs Continue to Impress

True freshman John Blackwell led the Badgers with 17 points off the bench against Arizona on Saturday.

The guard has exceeded all expectations placed on his name this season and gave 100% effort on the court despite his side being down by 20+ points for the majority of the second half.

Blackwell is one of the hardest-working basketball players a coach could ask for on their roster. The youngster shot 6/12 from the field and an outstanding 4/5 from beyond the arc in a hostile atmosphere.

Sophomore guard A.J Storr might not have had his best scoring performance against the Wildcats, but he still notched 10 points in the defeat.

Prior to facing the nation’s most challenging side, Storr recorded 22 points against Michigan State and 13 against Marquette, proving already to be a tremendous contributor to the Wisconsin basketball program.

It’ll take about a year for Gard’s squad to play to its full potential — but the boys are definitely off to a great start this season despite slipping up against Arizona.

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Christian Rasic is a correspondent and current University of Wisconsin student. His writing has been featured in top media publications such as Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Chat Sports, Sportspyder, and Yardbarker.