In the midst of a five-game winning streak, Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser has given the Badgers excellent all-around play. He had eight points, two rebounds and an assist against Indiana.[/media-credit]Halfway through the Big Ten season, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team has found its groove.After losing three of their first four conference games, including three straight at one point, the Badgers have now won their last five in a stretch of contests that wasn’t consistently pretty, but rewarding nonetheless.Thursday night against Indiana, Wisconsin shot barely less than 40 percent (39.6) from the field and connected on just four of 17 three-point attempts. A 3-for-7 mark from the free throw line in the first half was perhaps the clearest sign the Badgers were not about to have a sparkling night shooting the basketball.Ten second-half points from Ben Brust and stingier team defense sufficed to carry Wisconsin to a 57-50 victory, and afterward, head coach Bo Ryan praised his team’s “grit” and “fight” in pulling out the win. Whether it was those factors at play or simply better luck putting the ball in the hoop, the effort was emblematic of the confidence the Badgers have fostered in their five-game streak.“Especially when we get a couple of close wins and grit out a couple wins, it makes everything feel a little bit better,” forward/center Jared Berggren said. “Guys have their confidence back; maybe we lost it a bit during our rough stretch there.”The first game of that skid was a home loss to Iowa on New Year’s Eve, and three days later, Wisconsin lost again in the Kohl Center to Michigan State. For a team that was a perfect 16-0 on its own court last season and also fell to Marquette in Madison back in early December, the Badgers appeared to be thrown off-kilter by their three home losses less than a week into the new year.Several pitiful shooting efforts – the three-game skid saw the Badgers shoot below 40 percent in each game, and Wisconsin also hit just 31 percent against Nebraska – ensued and the Badgers’ woes stuck around until a tough 67-62 road win at Purdue Jan. 12.“We’ve been playing better overall, we’ve been winning,” assistant coach Lamont Paris said. “A lot of times, we’re just really structured. You feel like, hey, we’ve got some good shots, we just haven’t made them. We’re right there where we need to be, and we’re going to win it one way or the other – whether that means a defensive stop, or somebody’s going to make a shot, whatever it takes.”This week, with a trip to Penn State looming Tuesday night and then a battle with No. 3 Ohio State slated for Saturday afternoon, the longevity of that confidence will surely be tested. Wisconsin also has five road games remaining in Big Ten play, including trips to Ohio State and Michigan State – both of which could be top-10 opponents by the time they meet the Badgers.“I feel pretty much all of our games have been close lately, so that’s definitely going to help us moving on throughout the year,” guard Josh Gasser said. “We’ve got a lot of tough guys on our team that don’t like to lose. That’s a good thing to have.”The Badgers also have their top-ranked defense, which is almost always a saving grace in Madison. Wisconsin allows just 49.6 points per game and holds opponents on average to 36.3 percent shooting from the field, both the best marks in the country.Against Indiana Thursday night, Berggren was critical in shutting down the Hoosiers’ leading scorer, 6-foot-11 forward Cody Zeller. Averaging 14.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, Zeller had just seven and three, respectively, against the Badgers. Saddled with four fouls, he took the floor for just 10 minutes in the second half.Berggren also blocked five shots in that game, fueling much of the talk of grit and fight permeating Wisconsin’s post-game press conferences.“I think we’re showing a little more of it now this little winning streak we’re on here,” Berggren said. “It’s not something that you can really turn on or off sometimes; it’s just something you’ve got to have. It’s something that we have. The guys in our locker room are all tough kids, and they’re all going to play hard.”
All five games that are due to be played today all throw in at 6.30 this evening.Killenaule are up against JK Brackens in Holycross….Eire Óg Annacarty take on Roscrea at The Ragg while in Newport, Nenagh Eire Óg kick off their title challenge against Kildangan. In Toomevara, Burgess will go up against Moyne-Templetuohy and in Moneygall, Loughmore-Castleiney take on Borrisokane. All those games start at 6.30 this evening. Tomorrow, 9 matches will take place starting at 2 o’clock in Boherlahan with the clash of Drom & Inch and Upperchurch-Drombane…At the same time in Cloughjordan, Portroe are going up against Cloughjordan…Holycross-Ballycahill play Toomevara in Templederry, Moneygall face Carrick Swan in Golden and Ballina take on Silvermines in Nenagh. One of the highlights of the weekend’s action will be at 3.30 in Templemore, when reigning champions Thurles Sarsfields play Borris-Ileigh. In Cashel, Ballingarry face new entrants to the Senior Championship Clonakenny…throw in for that match is also half past three. There are two late throw ins for the final games of the weekend….Mullinahone go up against Templederry Kenyons in Templetuohy….and Clonoulty-Rossmore take on Kilruane MacDonagh’s in Dolla…both those games start at 6.30 tomorrow evening. Tipp FM will bring you the latest scores throughout the weekend from those matches.
Published on cricket File photo of Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. – The Hindu Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah climbed to the number one spot in the latest ICC T20 rankings while his fifth-ranked team could go as high as second if it beats New Zealand in the three-match series beginning here tomorrow.Bumrah, who attained a career-best third position in the ODI rankings on Monday, has regained the T20 top spot after Pakistan spinner Imad Wasim slipped one place.India captain Virat Kohli, who on Monday edged AB de Villiers to claim the top ranking in ODIs, also goes into the New Zealand series as the top-ranked batsman in the shortest format.In the team rankings, India will do Pakistan a huge favour if they defeat New Zealand in the upcoming series, as such a result will see their arch rivals top the standings.New Zealand are the top-ranked side in the shortest format with 125 points but Pakistan have closed in to within one point after securing a 3-0 win in the series against Sri Lanka that culminated in Lahore on Sunday.India are placed fifth at 116 points and can at best go to second position with a 3-0 win over New Zealand which will take them to 122 points. Pakistan will reach the top rank with their tally of 124 points in such a scenario with New Zealand slipping to 114 points and fifth position.Even a 2-1 series win for India will be enough for Pakistan to move to the top with New Zealand slipping to 121 points. File photo of Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. – The Hindu SHARE × India are placed fifth at 116 points and can at best go to second position with a 3-0 win over New Zealand October 31, 2017 RELATED COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL null Zaggle ropes in ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah as brand ambassador COMMENTS