Thursday, March 14, 2013


A brief note about Minnesota, which lost today to Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament.

Loyal readers may recall a post I did a while back when some people were freaking out that Wisconsin might not make the NCAA tournament. At that time, they were 3-0 in the Big Ten, and it seemed likely that 9 Big Ten wins would get them a berth. So they needed to go better than 5-10 over the remaining 15 games.

I looked back at the Bo Ryan era and found just one 15-game stretch where the Badgers lost 10 games—the 15-game spiral at the end of the 2006 season, when Landry and Stiemsma were ineligible. Other than that, the Badgers' worst 15-game stretch under Bo Ryan was two 7-8 stretches in the 2008-09 season.

I thought of this because Minnesota has now lost 10 of its last 15 games. This was a team that was ranked in the top ten in the country this year. But since achieving that ranking, they've endured a stretch comparable to the very worst stretches the Badgers have faced this century.

But that's not all. What's really remarkable is that the Gophers have had this kind of stretch every year under Tubby Smith. Here are their worst 15-game stretches since Tubby got the gig:

2008:  6-9
2009:  6-9
2010:  6-9
2011:  5-10
2012:  5-10
2013:  5-10

So this is their third straight year with with a 5-10 stretch, and they've had a 6-9 stretch (or worse) every year under Tubby. Remember, Bo Ryan has had just one stretch that bad in his 12 seasons at Wisconsin. Here are the Badgers' worst 15-games in those same seasons:

2008:  12-3 (!)
2009:  7-8
2010:  10-5
2011:  10-5
2012:  9-6
2013:  9-6 (current—if Badgers lose next 2 they'll end on an 8-7 streak)

Pretty amazing comparison. In every year of Tubby's tenure, he has had a 15-game stretch worse than Bo has ever had during Tubby's tenure.

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