After the Wisconsin Badgers lost the national title game to the Duke Blue Devils on Monday night, Badgers’ head coach Bo Ryan complained about some of the calls made by the officials.
“I feel sorry for my guys that all of a sudden a game like that, they’re struggling with that a little bit so we missed some opportunities . . . it’s just a shame that it had to be played that way,” said Ryan to Tracy Wolfson outside of the locker room.
The thing is, in every game college refs miss calls. The Badgers were very fortunate to be in the title game. If the officials hadn’t missed the blatant shot-clock violation basket by Nigel Hayes with less than three minutes left in the second half against Kentucky, I’m not so sure the Badgers win the game.
Hayes’ basket tied the game at 60 and Wisconsin went on to thwart Kentucky.
But Ryan’s team simply couldn’t get the job done against Tyus Jones and the Blue Devils.
While I agree that there were plenty of questionable calls throughout the game, Wisconsin was unable to take advantage with Duke’s Jahlil Okafor on the bench for 18 of the game’s 40 minutes.
The Badgers also had no answer for the Blue Devils’ bench. Grayson Allen outscored Wisconsin’s bench by himself, 16-7. The Badgers settled for too many threes, especially when Okafor was out of the game.
Unlike the past two games, the Badgers weren’t getting many three-pointers to drop. They connected on just seven-of-21 from outside the arc and Sam Dekker was 0-for-6 after going a combined seven-for-nine his two previous games.
Then, Ryan took his comments one step further and pretty much did the unthinkable.
“We don’t do rent-a-player,” said Ryan.
That implies that Duke was/is doing something illegal.
For Ryan to say that shows he’s overly bitter about losing a game. A game.
Duke’s players were simply better than Wisconsin’s players.
But Ryan doesn’t see it like that. He has never won the “big one” on the “big stage” before and maybe he said what he said because he this was his best chance to ever win a title at Wisconsin. A far-fetched thought also could be that his coaching days are drawing to close.
Ryan has been in the game way too long to act and say something like this. There certainly is no reason to call out Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
While Wisconsin’s “experienced group” was busy hoisting up bad shots, Duke’s talented freshmen were going right by defenders, drawing fouls and making shots.
Ryan was outmatched by Krzyzewski in the latter stages of the second half because Ryan and the Badgers didn’t have one player who could contain Jones from either getting into the paint and making plays or stop him from “stopping and popping” for wide open, mid-range jumpers. Wisconsin made zero adjustments.
In conclusion, you’re better than that, Ryan, even on your worse day. Everyone who plays, coaches or watches college basketball knows the officiating is terrible.
So, Ryan and his team got screwed on some calls? Every team does. Personally, I don’t Okafor’s third foul that occurred early in the second half wasn’t a foul.
The Badgers had many chances to pull away from the Blue Devils.
Wisconsin was up nine points with just over 13 minutes left in the game.
So close, yet, so far.