I really don't want to recap this game. If Wisconsin had trailed the whole time this would be easier. Instead they didn't. They controlled the first 10 minutes of the second half, and built a 9 point lead despite not playing very well at all. Then promptly the most efficient offense in the KenPom era couldn't buy a basket. It didn't help that the refs obviously had something against Croatians named Duje Dukan (ONLY REF COMMENT I SWEAR). What the fuck is a Grayson Allen and how do I stop it? Seriously the guy has the same build as me and there's nobody capable of stopping him? He's like Zak Showalter except better at offense. Ok, time to write something resembling a structured paragraph.
The first half was a crapfest. The Badgers looked so bad that the fact we had a tie game at the half made me sure Wisconsin was going to win this game. This had been a second half team all year, and certain things (seriously 2-6 from the line?) were not going to hold up. Also I lied. Say what you want about
questionable wrong calls they aren't the reason Wisconsin lost. Neither is the reason Wisconsin went from getting called for 2 fouls in the first half to 13 fouls in the second half. The officiating was godawful the entire tournament. The officials aren't the reason Wisconsin shot 41 percent.
I was going to split the game into first and second half paragraphs, but I literally started crying when I tried that. The best Wisconsin team ever blew a 9 point lead in the span of 5 minutes in the national championship game. That fact alone makes me want to throw up. I will say this, I'm not happy with Bo Ryan right now. I'm a fan, and even as I'm bitching about how horrendous the refs were I will qualify it by saying they weren't the reason Wisconsin lost every single time. Wisconsin didn't play well. Period. Traevon Jackson was 1-7. That matters more than anything the refs did. The refs were trash against Kentucky and if Wisconsin hadn't won that game we'd be wondering how Trey Lyles didn't even get called for a foul (should've been a flagrant one, the fact they looked at that and decided it wasn't a foul after reviewing it blows my mind more than the Winslow out of bounds call) for pimp slapping Josh Gasser. Bo Ryan has been coaching for longer than either of my parents have even been alive, and the first thing he does after the game is complain about the officials? NO WE'RE BETTER THAN THAT BO. IF I CAN DO IT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT TOO.
Complaining about the refs ignores that Winslow and Okafor were in foul trouble the entire game. Is it right that the refs were probably trying to even out foul calls? No, but that happens in basically every single college basketball game that gets played. You deal with it, and Tyus Jones promptly took over. He made as many shots from the field as he did free throws. Way to stay in front of him guys. If he had 23 points on 15 free throws maybe there's a point to be made that he's just getting bailed out by the refs. He had 23 points on 7-13 shooting. Again, way to stay in front of him guys. 2 of his 7 free throws were after an intentional foul. But yeah, the refs were the reason Wisconsin lost this game. It had nothing to do with letting Jones (and Allen) get in the lane just like December.
I guess it wasn't possible to not talk about the refs. Especially when you don't want to recap the actual gameplay (IT HURTS DAMN IT). That's exactly the point though. Any Wisconsin fan that wants to pin this on the refs (Bo Ryan included), doesn't want to admit that Wisconsin didn't play well enough to win last night. Refs calling touch fouls everywhere? Don't jack up 21 threes when they aren't falling, then wonder why Duke shot 10 more free throws. They also shot 10 less threes. Both teams turned the ball over 5 times. I don't need to look into advanced stats to know that they had roughly the same number of possessions from that alone. It's making my head hurt to read anything about this game (can't go on Facebook right now), not just because Wisconsin lost, but because everyone wants to complain about the refs. Wisconsin lost this game for Wisconsin, not the refs.