Wisconsin 79, Iowa 74: Oh God The Pain

Matthew Holst

Iowa blows yet another late lead—this time after fighting back from double-digit deficit.

Woe upon those who filled Carver-Hawkeye Arena and had to sit there and watch Iowa's ongoing experiment to cram an entire basketball down its esophagus in late-game situations. For the fifth time this year, it didn't work, and Iowa choked away another win.

First off, this was a different game and a different team without the inside presence of Melsahn Basabe, who was ill and unable to play (Basabe came in briefly in the first half, but it was a no-go). Wisconsin took advantage of Basabe being out by controlling the offensive glass in a way you don't usually see the Badgers do—or the Hawkeyes allow, for that matter—and every time Iowa looked like it was going to make a crucial stop in the second half, there was Wisconsin with another key offensive rebound, keeping the possession alive.

Zach McCabe was admirable in effort as Basabe's replacement, if not admirable in actual production. It's easy to say now, but Jarrod Uthoff's length and floor-spacing ability was much more effective against Wisconsin's bigs; he should have started over McCabe, who is simply not suited for the task McCaffery asked of him. Not against a team as good as Wisconsin.

And give Wisconsin boatloads of credit: the Badgers understood that the best way to beat Iowa is to hit long jumpers, and the Badgers did exactly that at a pace and rate that Iowa couldn't match—especially with the Badger defense clamping down on Iowa's own long range shooting.

That all said, Roy Devyn Marble looked every bit like the Big Ten Player of the Year, even in defeat; he scores 21 points as Iowa's undisputed first offensive option, plus dishes out 11 assists and adds four boards. He did great.

And Josh Oglesby was basically the only other reason Iowa even made up that deficit; Oglesby had a classic "fuck it, I'm shooting" game down the stretch and ended with 17 points, often on shots that would have gotten him benched/thrown off the team if Todd Lickliter were still around. Iowa needed offense like that and it got it.

With that, we'll open this one up to y'all. We can't imagine you're happy, just keep it civil and try to only say things you wouldn't be embarrassed to say in front of a player's family. Here, the misery will have its company. Sigh.

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