Double Dose of Frustration

Wisconsin's big two of senior Jon Leuer and junior Jordan Taylor had carried the team all season long. So when the duo shot a combined 7 of 31 from the floor and 4 of 16 from 3-point range, the Badgers' offense never got started.

New Orleans – It wasn't the ending that Jordan Taylor dreamed up.

The same goes for Jon Leuer.

Wisconsin might not wear names on the backs of their jerseys, but opponents have no trouble picking out No. 30 and No. 11 when the Badgers step on the court.

Leuer, a senior forward, led Wisconsin with 18.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Taylor, a junior guard who led the team in minutes played, averaged 18 points, 4.1 rebounds, and a team-best 4.8 assists.

The only two Badgers to average double-digit scoring on the year, Leuer and Taylor both earned First-Team Big Ten selections. They also both nabbed nominations for the Wooden Award, given out annually to the nation's top college player.

Then came the night where the basketball gods frowned.

On Thursday, Butler had their numbers.

And unfortunately, the gods frowned on Leuer and Taylor on the same night – and on the biggest stage of the season.

The pair combined to shoot 7 of 31 from the field and 4 of 10 from beyond the arc, a nightmare combo effort from the lifeblood of the Wisconsin offense.

For Leuer, it was a 1 of 12 shooting performance that marked the only time all season he was held under double-digits in scoring.

With three points in 33 minutes, the senior walked off the court with his head hung low.

"I mean, you've got Jon Leuer 1-for-12?" Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan questioned. "He's a good player, very good player, and he works hard. There wasn't anything about some of those shots, he hit his first one, and he had some of the most wide-open threes. Nobody in our league - he doesn't get those wide-open looks. Maybe he needed to be guarded a little closer."

For Leuer, it all went wrong – from eight first-half turnovers to a dismal night shooting from the floor.

"We just made plays that were uncharacteristic of us, trying to force some things," Leuer said.

Then there was Taylor.

While the junior finished with a team-high 22 points, he shot 6 of 19 from the field and 3 of 10 from 3-point range, taking up 29 of Wisconsin's 56 shots in the game.

"It was just one of those nights, the ball wasn't going through the hoop," Taylor said. "It's frustrating, especially when you end your season like that."

Taylor was the only Badger to score more than nine points, making a comeback – on a night where Leuer was ice-cold – all the less likely.

"It was just tough to get things going, especially with those guys not having their shots go down," said Mike Bruesewitz, who came off the bench to play 22 minutes, where he recorded seven points and four rebounds. "We've been in tough positions where we had to come back, but tonight was hard with the shots not going down."

For Butler, it was about cramming in game film and simulating the tandem in practice.

"I think the coaching staff did a great job of having us a game plan," said Butler guard Shelvin Mack. "We came out and executed. They're great players. They just weren't able to knock down shots tonight."

Matt Howard, the unofficial leader of the Bulldogs in their quest to get back to the National Championship for the second straight season, called stopping Leuer and Taylor a team effort.

"It takes a team awareness," Howard said. "Everybody has got to know where they are and what you can do to help your teammate that's guarding them, because they're really tough players, and if you let them get spots and open shots, they're normally going to knock those down."

Back on a flight to Madison, Leuer and Taylor know Thursday was far from the norm.

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