Wisconsin played it's 2nd straight U-G-L-Y basketball game, but unlike the previous version they didn't dig themselves a massive hole as they hung on to defeat the Minnesota Gophers 45-44 and stay in the race for the top of the Big Ten. The Badgers (14-6, 5-2 B1G) benefited from missed free throws for a change as a strange sequence of action led to the Gophers' (15-5, 3-4 B1G) Rodney Williams, Jr. stepping to the line to take the free throws that Trevor Mbakwe "earned."
He stepped up and hit the front end to make it 45-44, but missed the back end badly and Wisconsin secured the win with the rebound. That's not the point of contention at all, but what happened to put Williams to the line will go down in the history of this great rivalry as one of the most contentious in some time.
With 1.8 seconds remaining the Gophers had an inbounds at mid-court and threw it up to Mbakwe, who was battling for position (sorta) with Wisconsin's Mike Bruesewitz. Somehow he managed to get a foul call his way despite the arm bar he was attempting to apply to Bruesewitz and despite no contact at the point of his catch he was granted a foul.
Shortly after that he magically had a wrist "injury" and couldn't take the free throws. How convenient for a player that just happens to be the worst free throw shooter on the court. The Badgers smartly went to the stat sheets and figured out who of the remaining players on the court sucked at least a little less at free throws and the rest is now history.no comments