Wisconsin Badgers humiliate Hawkeyes on Senior Night

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 01: Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates the 59-54 win over the Maryland Terrapins during the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 01: Ethan Happ #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates the 59-54 win over the Maryland Terrapins during the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

This year’s Wisconsin Badgers senior class went out in style as they humiliated the Iowa Hawkeyes on Senior Night at the Kohl Center.

It has been a heck of a career for the three Wisconsin Badgers seniors this year. Ethan Happ will be remembered as a top-ten Badger of all time. We will have memories of all the incredible slams from Khalil Iverson throughout his career for years to come. While Charles Thomas IV has provided a spark off the bench in countless games, and I’m sure he will have an impact in the NCAA tournament.

In the trio’s final game at the Kohl Center against Iowa they did not disappoint, in fact, they went out in about the best way possible, with an absolutely dominating performance.

First Half

Senior Night started off with a bang courtesy of Khalil Iverson’s emphatic slam that we have all seen so many times in his career.

The man is just an incredible athlete, and we sure will miss that athleticism and his defensive dominance.

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Iowa was without their head coach, Fran McCaffery because he was a very naughty boy in the Hawkeyes game against Ohio State. He called the ref a “cheater” which earned him a two-game suspension. His absence didn’t halt Iowa from throwing a variety of looks at the Wisconsin Badgers.

Early in the first half, the Hawkeyes went into a 1-3-1 zone which led to a ton of open looks from deep that Wisconsin was unable to take advantage of. After the 12:00 media timeout, Coach Greg Gard sent out a lineup that I don’t remember seeing much of this season. It featured four great shooters in D’Mitrik Trice, Brevin Pritzl, Aleem Ford, and Nate Reuvers paired with defensive specialist Khalil Iverson.

The spacing allowed for Reuvers to grab two offensive boards leading to two easy buckets, and Iowa quickly switched back to man.

Iowa also showed a 1-2-2 extended zone which did lead to a couple of turnovers in the first half, but overall it was a clean, efficient half for the Badgers. The good guys went into the locker room with a 31-22 lead.

Second Half

The second half started the same as the first half, with another ferocious driving dunk. This time Reuvers got the highlight slam.

This half was wildly different from the first twenty minutes, as Iowa had no answers for anything the Badgers were doing offensively.

Ethan Happ was unable to score from the field in the first half, with all five of his points coming from the line. This changed in half number two as his patience increased and was able to get clean shots at the rim.

This scenario has happened quite a few times in Happ’s senior campaign. The opponent will come out strong and hold Happ to a quiet first half, then he’ll come out in the second half and dominate. He just wears defenses down.

It was a fairly uneventful second half as the Badgers held a 20+ point lead for much of it. The Hawkeyes did start implementing the Hack-a-Happ strategy with around six minutes left which extended the game quite a bit. Happ was able to go 3/6 during this stretch and finished 10/17 from the line, which is nothing to complain about.

The lead allowed Gard to get Iverson and Happ out of the game with around two and a half minutes left and boy was it an emotional scene. Instant chills as they both received standing ovations on their way out. What a way to finish their careers at the Kohl Center.


This was one of the most complete games the Wisconsin Badgers have played defensively. Iowa was held to an abysmal 18/59 (30.5%) and 5/22 (22.7%) from three. They played great team defense making perfect rotations and only allowed a few open looks.

It seemed like Wisconsin was playing with a different intensity and really wanted to put on a great performance on such a special night. Specifically, Kobe King made a play in the first half where he dove in front of a post entry pass to get a steal. That kind of effort sets the tone for the rest of the season, and hopefully, that can continue.

Wisconsin also absolutely killed Iowa on the glass. Happ’s 14 rebounds, along with Iverson’s 11 helped the Badgers pull down 33 total boards compared to Iowa’s 23. In addition,15 of those rebounds for the Wisconsin Badgers came on the offensive end, which is just astounding.

In a game where the Badgers struggled from behind the arc (4/19), they were still able to appear efficient offensively and were able to get to 65 points. Thankfully they lived at the line the entire game, taking a total of 27 free throws and knocking down 17. While that was able to cut it tonight, Wisconsin needs to be above 70% from the line in postseason play.

Next. Khalil Iverson must continue to play well. dark

This was a very fun night at the Kohl Center, but now the Wisconsin Badgers need to focus on their final game this Sunday at Ohio State, where they can clinch a top-four seed and secure the double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. On Wisconsin.