The second round of Dairyland Madness concludes today with the most unpredictable region of them all, the Wisconsin Badgers region.
There were a total of three first-round upsets in this region of the Dairyland Madness bracket. No other region had more than one upset. What makes the Wisconsin Badgers region crazy is that it mixes football with basketball, making for some matchups that don’t quite compare apples to apples.
In the second round, we’ve still got plenty of variety. There’s still rushing performances, passing and receiving performances, and four huge basketball games. It’s fitting that the biggest madness is in the section of the bracket that features the college team since the inspiration for this tournament is, of course, the NCAA March Madness tournament.
So be sure to find us on Twitter at Dairyland Express or follow the link at the end of the article to vote for your favorite performances!
#1 Melvin Gordon 408 yards 4 TDs 2014 vs. #9 Sam Dekker 27 points 2015 Elite 8
This is the first of the matchups that pits a pure impressive statistical performance against a guy stepping up in a huge game. There is no question that this is the best rushing performance, purely statistically, in the 2000s. 408 yards would be amazing for passing yards, but Gordon did it on the ground, putting up video game numbers.
Sam Dekker’s 27 points aren’t anything to be amazed at on the surface. However, when you take into account that it was a game that propelled the Badgers to the Final Four. With Wisconsin down at halftime, Dekker knew he had to light it up and he did. He went 5-6 on threes and got the win. In his first-round matchup, the magnitude of his game was enough to upset 8 seed, Brian Calhoun’s 258 yards, and 5 TDs fairly easily, receiving 77 percent of the votes.
#4 Jim Sorgi+Lee Evans connection 258 yards 5 TDs 2003 vs #5 Alando Tucker 32 points against undefeated Pitt 2006
Jim Sorgi and Lee Evans showed in round one that two is better than one. They got 72 percent against Ethan Happ’s triple-double, with their crazy connection. Sorgi went to Evans all day and threw all five of his touchdowns to him. These were quite possibly the best individual passing and individual receiving performances of the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2000s.
Another big basketball performance in an even bigger game as Alando Tucker helped Wisconsin take down #2 ranked Pitt and he also took down #12 seed Montee Ball in the first round of this tournament. Pitt was undefeated at the time and Tucker handed them their first loss. He added in 10 rebounds to make it a double-double and is looking to advance to the Sweet Sixteen of a 64-team tournament for the third time in his career and 15 years after the last time he did it with the Wisconsin Badgers.
#3 Jonathan Taylor 321 yards 3 TDs 2018 vs. #11 Frank Kaminsky 20 points against undefeated Kentucky 2015
Now, the last of the stats vs. magnitude matchups. Both of these are pretty recent with Taylor’s being just one season ago. Taylor is primed to possibly get drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in a few months, and this is his last chance at a big college accomplishment. Everyone knows Badger running backs run wild against Purdue and this day was Taylor’s best one against Purdue. 300 yards is crazy, even for a Wisconsin back.
Frank Kaminsky’s big round one upset showed that the magnitude of the game makes a big difference. He beat Michael Bennett’s 293 yards and 2 TDs easily, getting 82 percent of the vote. I think we all remember looking on as Kaminsky took on the entire Kentucky front line, seemingly by himself at times and dropped in a team-high 20 points to take down the seemingly indestructible Kentucky Wildcats, led by future number one pick, Karl-Anthony Towns. Will Kaminsky keep his Cinderella run going in round two with an even bigger upset?
#2 Frank Kaminsky 43 points 2013 vs. #10 Chris Borland 11 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 2 FF, INT 2011
Kaminsky finds himself on the opposite side of the coin from his other game. This one is pure stats. 43 points and a Wisconsin Badgers’ single-game record scored him 87 percent of the votes in round one as he coasted to the win against James White. Kaminsky is the number two seed, but facing a football defensive performance could be bad news. There’s almost no way to compare the two and that could help Borland.
Chris Borland squeaked out an upset win, beating Jordan Taylor’s 39 points in a 2011 game, receiving 57 percent of your votes. He’s got a tough matchup here, facing a Badgers school record from Kaminsky, but he was all over the field in this game. Forcing three turnovers, and getting 3.5 tackles for loss is a huge impact on a game. He’ll have to rely on Badger football fans to pull him through this one and get him another upset.