More importantly, Wisconsin hopes to have 13 more games to add to their already impressive resume.
"We put ourselves in position to be here," Tucker said. "But we have just broken the tip of the ice right now."
Win number 26, a 75-49 victory over struggling Penn State, was one of total domination. The Badgers (26-2, 12-1 Big Ten) dominated the hustle board against the Nittany Lions (10-15, 1-11 Big Ten); out-performing the visitors in assists (20-14), blocks (5-1), rebounds (30-23), second-chance points (12-6) and steals (7-4).
"Against the zone, we were really concentrating on trying to break it down in the second half," Tucker said. "It's about the best we have played against the zone this year."
Early on however, the Badgers got off to another sluggish start, allowing Penn State to keep pace. But, as they usually do, the Badgers started to separate off the hot hand of one of their veterans and one of their youngsters.
Fresh off a solid road performance in Minneapolis, Kammron Taylor paced the Badgers early, leading the way with 12 points in the first half and didn't turn the ball over once. Taylor finished with 18 and didn't commit a single turnover.
Even though Taylor had one of his most productive first half's of the season, it was the Badgers' perimeter shooting, particularly freshman Jason Bohannan's, that ignited the crowd. Much like Wisconsin's last game when the Nittany Lions' 2-3 zone gave them open perimeter looks, Bohannan nailed three wide-open three pointers in his 21 minutes on the floor, finishing with a season-high 11 points.
As a team, Wisconsin drilled seven triples in the first half to put some distance between them and Penn State.
"They were jamming everything pretty good, taking away our post feeds, and if you don't hit a few of those, it makes it very difficult to get something later in the post," head coach Bo Ryan said. "Against a team like that, you're going to have to take more outside shots. … Jason got it started with a hot hand and guys felt comfortable after that."
"We get it down low in the post and they are able to kick it out, it makes us beat the zone a lot quicker," Bohannon added.
Even so, Wisconsin really couldn't feel comfortable against the Nittany Lions. After being relegated to the bench because of foul trouble in their last meeting, senior Geary Claxton scored seven first-half points, keeping Penn State within single-digits most of the first half.
"I thought if we could clean up our turnovers and not be in a hurry, we could keep it close and see what happens," Penn State head coach Ed DeCellis said. "We weren't devastated being down 11 points at half."
Unfortunately for DeCellis, the roof caved in on Penn State in the second half. Wisconsin shot 62.5 percent in the second half, including hitting five more three pointers to effectively put the game out of reach.
"They really shot it well tonight," DeCellis said. "When they can do that and score around the basket, they are hard to stop. Offensively, they have the whole package. It's a double-edge sword. You try to take their inside away and they'll step out and hit some shots."
Tucker struggled at times from the floor in the first half, but managed to find his shot after halftime. The national player of the year candidate scored 22 points, his seventh straight game scoring 20 points or more, and contributed with a team-leading six rebounds.
"He's obviously a very good player," DeCellis said. "It was commented that we were down 11 at half and he wasn't playing well. He moves the ball so well and he takes good shots. He made some shots in the second half, got some rolls to go and felt better about himself, which got the team going."
"I knew I couldn't have a worse half than I did in the first half," Tucker joked. "That really helped me get my confidence going."
In addition to Tucker's points and Wisconsin's outside shooting, junior Greg Stiemsma had a solid game for the cardinal and white. Although scoring only two points, Stiemsma registered five assists, tying his career high set earlier this season against Florida International.
"He can pass and he works at it," Ryan said. "His high school team ran the swing a little bit. He needs to keep gaining that confidence and making good decisions."
With their 26th win secure and the Badgers facing a daunting two-game road stretch that will take them to East Lansing and Columbus, Bo Ryan was thrilled when he was asked what the school record in wins meant to him.
"I'm so happy for these guys," Ryan said. "Some of the other stuff going on and everybody getting so far ahead of themselves in our society with seeding, I still say enjoy this. I want our players to enjoy it. I want the fans to enjoy it. Give credit to these guys with everyone giving us their best shot, the fact that they accomplished what they have so far is good."