Jordan Taylor — Unconscious!
The Badger point guard poured in a career high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting (3-of-4 from three-point range), while knocking down 9-of-10 free throws. One more time: 30 points on 13 total shots. And of course he added six assists against one turnover.
Most impressively, many of Taylor's shots came contested with just seconds left on the shot clock. You cannot fault Michigan State's defense when Taylor would have shot 50 percent with his eyes closed.
"Jordan Taylor was unbelievable today, I think it was one of the great performances I have ever seen," Izzo said. "He made nine shots and four threes, and I think every one of them was a tough shot …
Jon Leuer — On Fire!
UW's senior forward did his normal thing, shooting 50 percent from the field and three-point range, converting on all four of his free throw attempts and grabbing six of the team's 24 rebounds as he finished with 20 points for the 10th time this season.
After suffering his worst game of the season at Michigan State, Leuer made sure to assert himself early in the post. He took and hit the first shot of the game, and finished the first half with 15 points on nine shots.
Combined, Leuer and Taylor accounted for 50 points. Michigan State accounted for 56.
The rest of the team — Deep From Downtown!
No defense can withstand the barrage Wisconsin put on from three-point land. Izzo said it was the best shooting performance he has ever seen in the Big Ten. UW knocked down 7-of-10 three-pointers in the first half and was 15-of-23 overall in the games open period.
Keaton Nankivil hit all three treys he took in the first half, including a fade-away shot clock beating three from the top of the key. Jarmusz hit the one shot he took. Josh Gasser, a 24 percent three-point shooter this season, swished one from the corner. Even Ben Brust drained a corner three to end the game that looked almost lackadaisical as the freshman was unsure whether not it was disrespectful to shoot the ball. In case Brust is wondering, Izzo said he was not offended.
"Michigan State was guarding the heck out of us," Ryan said. "They were doing all the right things, taking away some cuts, doing what they needed to be doing. But we hit some tough shots with the shot clock winding down — and we had a couple players make plays — but it was very difficult to get a good look at the basket."
"If they shoot like that they will win the National Championship," Izzo added.
Wisconsin was able to put it in cruise control for much of the second half after lighting up the scoreboard in the first 20 minutes.
UW scored 43 points on 25 opening possessions — an incredible 1.72 points per possession — and held the Spartans to 25 points.
It was a disheartening start for a Michigan State team in free fall, though Izzo assured the media he was relatively pleased with his team's performance today. Both the effort and focus were there.
Wisconsin just hit shots.
"They have a lot of talented guys," Leuer said. "They are going to be fine."