Badgers looking to bounce back

UW focused on Ohio State

Wisconsin coaches and players like to talk about staying even. Feelings after a big win? They just want to focus on the next team and do not want to get too high. Thoughts after a tough loss? They just want to focus on the next team and do not want to get too low.

Redundant, yes. But it can be a helpful philosophy, particularly after a week like last week when the Badgers traveled to Purdue, shot the lights out and won in West Lafayette, Ind., for the first time in 33 years, then traveled to Bloomington, Ind., three days later, played poorly and lost 74-61.

"If you ask any of the guys on this team we wanted both of them," senior forward Mike Wilkinson said. "But the past is the past, you can't change it now. Our only goal now is to focus on Ohio State."

The most obvious difference between Wisconsin's performances last week was on offense. The Badgers made 64 percent (14 of 22) of their 3-pointers at Purdue and then hit just 17 percent (3 of 18) at Indiana.

Wisconsin also struggled defensively versus the Hoosiers, though, allowing 49 percent shooting. Indiana's 74 points were the second most the Badgers have given up this season.

"They got a lot of easy looks at the basket, they got a lot of penetration in the lane. Things like that we need to stop," Wilkinson said.

The important thing for the Badgers, however, is not that they lost Saturday but how they react tonight.

"It's a quick turnaround. You just got to be excited to get back on the floor and prove that that's not how you normally play," Wilkinson said.

Home sweet home

Wisconsin, which opens its Big Ten home slate tonight, has never lost a conference home game under fourth-year coach Bo Ryan and is riding a 36-game home winning streak, the longest such streak in the nation. The Badgers beat the Buckeyes 78-48 at the Kohl Center last season.

"I know how good Wisconsin is at home," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "I'll be honest with you. Our focus is and it always has been more on ourselves than it will be Wisconsin or playing in their arena.

"That will weigh a little bit on our minds that the last 36 teams that have gone in have walked out with a loss. There's obviously a reason for that. They are not only great at home but they are just, I think, a great basketball team."

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