Mar 24, 201407:14 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
If Bo Ryan were coaching the weather, it would be spring
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The little extra spring in our steps this Monday of an interminable winter came out of Milwaukee Saturday night when the Badger basketball team avenged the last Rose Bowl with an 85 to 77 victory over the Nike (Oregon) Ducks. At halftime, down by 12 points, this cold-weather fan but remote-control jinx was ready to switch to Netflix for a Pawn Stars marathon. But Bo Ryan did something at halftime that got his players to control Oregon, the kind of quick and sneaky team that used to eat our lunch.
Perhaps coach moved a single X next to an isolated O on the locker-room blackboard. Suddenly, it all made sense. A kind of NCAA bosons particle. Perhaps a word of encouragement more subtle than a Zen master’s koan. An eyelid, lifted; the team, supremely aware, newly confident. Now speaking in tongues, imbued with the spirit. Takin’ it to the hoop.
The Badgers scored the big comeback in prime time, on network television, on a national stage. They played offense instead of four-corner slowdown. They used power and finesse. The Badgers shot the three, posted low, and dominated the boards. The whole bag o’ tricks. Those three offensive rebounds leading to Brust’s three was the possession of the game. It gave the Badgers the lead for good.
The Badgers out-toughed the Nike Ducks, too. Sam Dekker took a shot to the kisser. Brust took one to the jewels. When it was all but over, Traevon Jackson absorbed a sucker punch from a frustrated loser-boy. All Mr. Jackson did was smile as he made three stone-cold freebies at the line. Icing, it’s called.
Nothing boring about Badger basketball. Got to think prize recruits across the nation took some notice. And the talking heads.
As for this globally unwarming winter, a water main break on my street Sunday, March 23, was the third of the day in Madison, the workers said. Spring, supposedly.