Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor didn't care that his team was down 15 points to the number one team in the country. The junior guard took matters into his own hands has he ran off eight straight points as Wisconsin (19-5, 9-3) ran off a 19-2 run to erase that deficit and hold on for a 71-67 win over Ohio State (24-1, 11-1) and knocking the final unbeaten team in the nation off of its perch.
William Buford led Ohio State with 21 points while Jared Sullinger had 19 points and 12 rebounds of his own. But it was Taylor's game-high 27 points that made the difference in the box score but a big bucket by Mike Bruesewitz or an offensive rebound by Jon Leuer may have been just as critical in the final outcome.
Ohio State has never won at the Kohl Center under Thad Matta and Saturday's loss stretches that record out to 0-6 during his Buckeye career. The loss also brings the Buckeyes back in the pack for the Big Ten race with both Wisconsin and Purdue looking to make up ground with the season entering the home stretch.
The Buckeyes did not hold a lead in the first half of the game until the final two seconds when David Lighty hit a circus-style scoop shot to give Ohio State a 28-26 lead going into the halftime locker room and it seemed as if it was going to be a nip and tuck game the rest of the way.
But that was not the case in the second half when Ohio State had its own 19-4 run to open up a then seemingly invincible 47-32 lead and had Dick Vitale singing the praises of the team as being the best in the nation. During that run Buford was responsible for eight of the points while Jon Diebler continued his run of three point baskets.
Unfortunately for Ohio State fans however the Buckeyes would only hit four more baskets from the field the rest of the way including a three pointer by Sullinger in the final three seconds of the game when the contest had already been decided.
Even with Ohio State's problems from the field at that point the Buckeyes managed to close it down to a one possession game from the free throw line. Sullinger made good on a week of extra practice from the line to hit all four of his free throw attempts. With less than a minute left a pair of Sullinger makes closed the game to 65-63 and it seemed as if this was just going to be another game that the Buckeyes would take to the end only to find a way to win.
That wouldn't be the case however when Bruesewitz would hit a big three pointer from the top of the key to make it a five point game and that would be followed up immediately by a turnover charged to Aaron Craft.
Madison (Wis.) has turned into a nightmare city for the Buckeyes after the football team went up in the 2010 season as the nation's top ranked team and lost 31-18. The Buckeyes now hold the dubious honor of being the only team to beat twice (in both football and men's basketball) by the same team during the same academic year (Florida - 2007).
Ohio State will return home to take on a desperate Michigan State team on Tuesday night to start off a frantic six game stretch to lead into the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis including a return engagement with these same Badgers on the final day of the season on March 6th.