UW MBB: Mike Lucas: The joy is back

BY MIKE LUCAS

UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

MADISON, Wis. — Mike Lucas had a front-row seat for Wisconsin's final regular-season matchup — a 66-49 win against Minnesota — celebrating UW's Senior Day at the Kohl Center Sunday. Here is what he saw from courtside.

PLENTY TO SMILE ABOUT

When Vitto Brown walked on the floor during pregame senior introductions, he was accompanied by his folks, Angelo and Sheila. He also brought along an old friend: a smile. It was not a grin, but a smile; an ear-to-ear, mega-watt smile that has not been a part of Brown's makeup lately.

"After the Iowa game," Brown said, "that was rock bottom for myself and the whole team. I had to do a lot of re-evaluating — talking with my parents and brother. That was the main thing, the main message I got out of it, that we have to be more positive. We talked about that as a team as well.

"So, I felt the best way to do that is to smile. I wanted to make sure … (as he was speaking in the UW locker room, head coach Greg Gard walked up and hugged Brown who paused before completing his thought) … I wanted to make sure I started out the game with that smile and I tried to keep it, too."

THE SKINNY ON THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT

As the No. 2 seed, the Badgers will play on Friday against the winner of No. 10 Indiana and No. 7 Iowa in what will be a rematch of a Feb. 21 game in Iowa City, their only meeting of the season. In a rough-and-tumble affair, the Hawkeyes outlasted the Hoosiers, 96-90, in overtime. Peter Jok had 35 points and set a school record from the free throw line by going 22-of-23. Indiana was whistled for 35 fouls and had four players disqualified, leading to a huge advantage at the stripe for Iowa (39-of-47 versus 16-of-19). The Badgers swept Indiana and lost to Iowa last Thursday.

Read more at UWBadgers.com

 

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