The 6th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers had already wrapped up the Big Ten regular season title and the number-1 seed in the Big Ten tournament. But they still had one game left to play and coach Bo Ryan said the mission was to head back to Madison with a win.
Mission Accomplished! The Badgers rolled to 72-48 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Senior Day in Columbus, Ohio.
Ryan said, “If we were going to get knocked down, it wasn’t going to be because we weren’t out there diving for loose balls, playing hard and playing tough.”
The Badgers (28-3, 16-2 Big Ten) won for the 13th time in their last 14 games. Frank Kaminsky scored 20-points or more for the 13th time this season. Bronson Koenig added 15 points, including 3 of 5 three-pointers. Ten of his 15 points came in a 20-2 second half run that put the game out of reach.
Sam Dekker added 10 points and eight rebounds and the Badgers got 12 points from their bench, including seven from top reserve Duje Dukan.
Badger guard Josh Gasser (5 points, 6 rebounds) hold Ohio State (22-9, 11-7) freshman D’Angelo Russell in check. Russell started the day averaging 19.3 points a game. Russell finished with 17, but hit just 7 of 18 from the field and 1 of 7 from three-point range.
The Badgers open the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago at 11 a.m. on Friday morning against either Illinois (19-12, 9-9) or Michigan (15-15, 8-10).
Kaminsky, Dekker finalists
Wisconsin senior Frank Kaminsky was named Monday as one of five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award and junior Sam Dekker remains in the running for the Julius Erving Award.
Five finalists were selected for each of its inaugural college basketball awards, including the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Julius Erving Awards.
Kaminsky is on pace to become the first major conference player to averaged 18.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 1.0 bpg since Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin in 2008-09. The senior from Lisle, Illinois, has scored in double figures in 24 straight games and 29 of 30 played this season.
Sam Dekker has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 21 games and is one of five players averaging at least 13.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg in Big Ten play. Dekker ranks second on the Badgers team this season in scoring (13.1 ppg) and is third in rebounding (5.5 rpg).
The award winners will be announced on Friday, April 10.