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Lucas at Large: Do you remember when?

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Do you remember when UW coach Bo Ryan called a timeout with 11.7 seconds left to set up a play revolving around a ball screen for Kammron Taylor and Alando Tucker on the final offensive possession against Michigan State?

Do you remember who took the game winning shot?

The  No. 1 ranked Badgers were coming off two straight road losses; one to the Spartans and the other to Ohio State during which they had lost Brian Butch to an injury in a heartbreaking 49-48 defeat against the No. 1 ranked Buckeyes.

Taylor_Kammron_MSU_shot.jpgYes, that's right both teams were ranked No. 1 making the showdown in Columbus even more epic and historic. The Badgers were No. 1 in the Associated Press poll and Ohio State was No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.

No one was hurting more afterward than Taylor, except maybe Butch who was dealing with more physical pain after dislocating his right elbow in a nasty fall. Taylor was hurting because he came up short twice against the Buckeyes.

The Badgers were leading 48-47 with 20.3 seconds left when Taylor, the team's most reliable free throw shooter, stepped to the line. Taylor hadn't missed a free throw in the last six games, but he missed the front end of the bonus.

That opened the door for the Buckeyes, who following a timeout converted at the opposite end on Mike Conley's off-balance runner in the paint. The Badgers quickly inbounded and Jason Bohannon knocked down a 3-point shot.

But it was waved off because Ryan had already called a timeout to set up a final play with 3.9 seconds remaining. The Buckeyes took away Tucker so Taylor drove the lane only to have his shot blocked by Ron Lewis as time expired.

While Ohio State celebrated its second-consecutive Big Ten championship, the UW players were left to pick up the pieces and wonder what if ...

"It's real disappointing when you get the first No. 1 ranking in school history," said Wisconsin senior Jason Chappell, "and then take two straight losses. But we have to put that behind us and look forward to the future."

That was the backdrop to the 2007 regular-season finale between the Badgers and the Spartans at the Kohl Center. Not only would the seniors be honored - Tucker, Taylor and Chappell - but Taylor would get his redemption.

With 1:25 to play, Michigan State's Drew Neitzel, who had scored 28 points against the Badgers at the Breslin Center, drilled a clutch 3-pointer that pushed the Spartans into a 50-49 lead.    Each team then came up empty in a possession.

With 11.7 seconds left, Ryan drew up a play in the team huddle - a ball screen revolving around Tucker and Taylor, who had missed a jumper on that previous possession that could have put the Badgers ahead.

"The set play wasn't particularly for me," said Taylor, who had made only one of his eight field goal attempts in the game, just 1-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc.  "It was for me to make a good decision with the ball."

The Spartans shaded their defense to Tucker and that provided Taylor with the look that he needed to drain a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds on the clock. "It would be a lie if I said I didn't want to take the shot," Taylor admitted.

Neitzel's long 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer giving the Badgers a dramatic 52-50 win and Taylor a much needed confidence boost. "What a great way for Kam to walk off the court here for the last time," Ryan said.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo agreed.

"He made a heck of a shot," he said of Taylor. "He hasn't been making many lately (6-of-27) and, to his credit, I guess that's the way it's written in Hollywood when you're a senior. He deserved it, and they deserved it."

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Here's a piece of history for you for the big game this weekend.

Do you remember when U of W defeated Ohio State in 1962? That was a big one and all the bets were on Ohio State.

My father Coach Ron Nord was one of two (Coach Jon Orr the other) assistants to Coach John Erickson in that historical defeat. That win led to our family to move to Missoula, MT where my dad accepted the U of Montana (MSU then) head basketball coaching position!

Sadly, "Coach" Ron passed away January 14, 2011 and will not get to see his Bucky Badgers give Ohio State another whipping.