In doing so, Landry became the fifth different Badger to score 20 points in a Big Ten game this season. Jon Leuer, Brian Butch, Trevon Hughes and Michael Flowers each completed the feat in separate games previously.
Five different 20-point scorers in five different games to start a conference season? Even Ryan – an owner of 540 career wins – has never seen anything like it.
"Unbelievable," Ryan said. "I don't think it's ever happened in the history of the game. And if it has, I want to know the team, I want to know the year, and I want to call the coach. I'd say, ‘would anybody in their wildest dream ever think that would happen?'"
Landry, who has always spoke glowingly of Wisconsin's ability to share the ball, said the team's latest feat shows how much the team has improved after losing Alando Tucker to graduation last season.
"I'm very proud because it just shows how unselfish we are as a team," Landry said. "It shows that we can get the job done."
Last season, Tucker led the Badgers in scoring 22 out of 36 games. But this year's Badgers have flourished even without their All-American forward, finding different ways to get the job done every night.
"It's a weapon of ours," Landry said. "Other teams can't focus on one or two or three guys, they have to focus on all five guys on the court."
Leuer's 25 points at Michigan, Flowers' 23 at Penn State and Landry's 21 against Northwestern are all career highs.
"The scoring is so well balanced that on any given night, a guy can score any amount of points on this team," Landry said. "Tonight just happened to be my night."
Easy shots and overall points were hard to come by, with the feisty Wildcats (6-9, 0-5) throwing a unique 1-3-1 zone defense at the Badgers.
But Landry (6-for-7 from the floor) and junior forward Joe Krabbenhoft (5-for-7) were extremely efficient, allowing the Badgers to pull away after holding a slim 22-20 lead at the half.
"They were giving up something in order to allow (Landry) to be open, meaning they were stretching on a couple other guys and looking to double," Ryan said. "That's where good ball movement can find a guy like that."
Landry suggested Krabbenhoft, who has averaged 7.8 points this season, might be next to score 20, against Michigan on Tuesday.
"I believe someone else will have 20 points the next game," Landry said. "Joe's night is coming. Hopefully, it's the next game."
Game Notes: The Badgers should expect a hefty leap in the rankings on Monday. All seven teams ranked directly in front of them in the AP Poll (starting with No. 10 Texas A&M, followed by Michigan State, Butler, Marquette, Dayton, Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt) lost games this week
UW leading scorer Trevon Hughes was limited to six points, all on free throws – four in the final minute – and didn't score until five minutes left in the game
The Kohl Center celebrated its 10th anniversary with an elaborate halftime ceremony, headlined by a speech from Sen. Herb Kohl and a four-minute video documenting some of the most special Kohl Center moments from the last ten years. The first game played at the 17,190 seat arena was a men's basketball contest on Jan. 17, 1998, when Wisconsin beat Northwestern 56-33.