But the most amazing thing was this: looking at all the in-season 15-game stretches under Bo Ryan, the Badgers had won at least 10 games in all but six of them. The Badgers ended up having two 9-6 stretches at the end of last year, so it is now just eight 15-game stretches with fewer than 10 wins:
- 2001-02—went 8-7 to start the season, then went 1-1 for technically another 8-7 stretch. Eventually they finished 1st in the Big Ten conference for the first time in 54 years.
- 2005-06—the aforementioned 5-10 swoon. (Note: this was surrounded by some other sub-10 win stretches, obviously, that I didn't bother to count.)
- 2008-09—went 7-8 in the middle of the season, culminating with 6 game losing streak in the Big Ten. That team also lost 7 of its last 15. They still won an NCAA tournament game.
- 2011-12—they had a 9-6 stretch that started with the loss at home to Iowa and ended with the loss at Iowa. (Sweet 16.)
- 2012-13—two 9-6 stretches, including one to end the season after losses to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game and to Mississippi in the tourney.
I thought of this history earlier this year when the Badgers had their mid-season slump and lost 5 of 6. After the loss to Ohio State, it looked all but certain that this year's Badgers would have another sub-10-win stretch, if not much worse.
But here we are. The Badgers have won seven in a row. If they win their last two regular season games, they'll be fifteen games from the beginning of the slump and find themselves at 10-5 over that span.