Last night the Bicentennial was back in Madison…kinda. The UW-Badgers wore throwback uniforms from the 1976-77 season in their win over Ohio State. They will wear them rest of the February to honor the schools first Black head coach, Bill Cofield (1976-1981) and celebrate Black History Month.
Cofield’s Badgers that season were 9-18 overall, 5- 13 in the Big Ten and lost to Ohio State both times in ’76…60-58 (Madison), and 82-80 (Ohio). That wasn’t the case Thursday night at the Kohl Center. The Badgers, lead by Junior Forward, Nigel Hayes beat the Buckeyes 79-68, extending their winning streak to 5. Hayes only hit 2 of 7 three-pointers, but came up clutch down the stretch draining four key free throws in the final minutes. Hayes led the Badgers with 21 points and seven boards.
As far as the winning streak is concerned, the Badgers improved their record to 14-9 overall, 6-4 in the Big Ten and improved their chance at getting into the NCAA Tournament in March. Usually at this time of the year the Badgers are on “cruise control” and March Madness isn’t even a question, but, with their shaky start, 15 NCAA Tournament bids in a row looked dismal. They are definitely making a case now that they have moved into “bubble team” status.
Once you are “in” anything can happen, look at then “bubble team” Villanova, in 1985, they were a 7th seed in the Tournament and won the whole thing (they are still the highest seed to win it all).
Bucky’s next hurdle is Nebraska in Madison, Wednesday 2-10-16.
(photos courtesy: bigbluehistory, host.madison, zimbo, realclearsports)