Notes: A Bitter After Taste

Although leaving as the winningest senior class in school history, Wisconsin's 17-point loss to end the season is a bitter pill to swallow for four of Wisconsin's best.

DETROIT - Just like that, with a surprise blowout victory at the hands of Stephon Curry and the Davidson Wildcats, the University of Wisconsin careers have ended for four seniors.

"We're all hurting right now a little bit," senior center Brian Butch said. "We've had a chance to talk and just say thanks for all the great memories that we've had."

Indeed, as hard as it may be for Butch, center Greg Stiemsma, and guards Michael Flowers and Tanner Bronson to appreciate right now, there have been a ton of positive memories.

The foursome leaves UW as the winningest class in school history with 105 victories. They also were part of two Sweet 16 teams, including the 2004-05 Badgers that went to the Elite Eight.

"They're all great players," junior forward Marcus Landry said. "I'll remember Mike's great defense, Greg's energy off the bench, the way Brian shoots, Tanner just being a great guy to be around (and) just the drive that he had. I'll take a lot from those guys."

The seniors also were the leaders for a Wisconsin team that wasn't even picked to finish in the top three of the Big Ten Conference this season after losing All-American forward Alando Tucker.

The Badgers were arguably an even better team than last year's edition – the one that reached the No. 1 ranking for a week – and became the first Big Ten team ever to win both the conference's regular season and tournament championships.

"Right now, yeah," Butch said when asked if those Big Ten titles are a distant memory. "But you do realize that you did some pretty good things that not a lot of people thought you can do."

Added sophomore guard Jason Bohannon: "They meant a lot to us. They brought a lot to this program and tried to take us to another level, and did a great job doing so."

Walking Wounded

Despite a significant size advantage, the Badgers were the team battered and bruised throughout Friday's game.

Flowers leaped for an inbounds pass in the second half and came down hard on his right shoulder, and needed a few moments to get up and shake off the pain.

Butch got poked in the eye in the first half, and after the game was seen in the locker room with blood streaming down from his right knee.

But the biggest dent to Wisconsin's roster came early in the game, when sophomore point guard Trevon Hughes injured his right foot. Hughes was limited to just 12 points, forcing backup guard Jason Bohannon to play 34 minutes.

"Unfortunately for our guys, our last game was played without one of the key parts," Ryan said. "I really wish Trevon had been healthy. It would have been a better game. I don't know who would have been on the left-hand side at the end."

But the Badgers shrugged off any notion that UW missed a beat without Hughes, pointing to past victories at Texas and against Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament where their young point guard missed time.

"It's always a good thing to have him out on the court," Landry said. "We've seen him go down before so it was nothing different."

Stat of the Night

Although Curry will grab most of the headlines, the ability of Jason Richards to get the ball to his open teammates was an impressive sight. Leading the nation with eight assists per game entering the night, Richards dished out 13 assists and more importantly had no turnovers.

Quotables

"We had a great year and I'm so proud of them. But, you know, you always like 40 more minutes. We're not going to get it. We're not going to get it on the court. We can get it somewhere else, but just not going to get it on the court." – Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan "I didn't have to see it first hand but I did," said Ryan of Curry's shooting performance. "Whenever you have a guy like him, you'll always have a chance. Stephan statistically is better than Devin Harris at this stage of the game as a sophomore. I thought we could hold him to the low 30s and still have a chance. You have to give him credit." Benjamin Worgull contributed to this report


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