"That's as well as we've played for a total of 40 minutes against that caliber of a team," head coach Bo Ryan said. "That's probably as good as we've played this year, and what you have to do is know that tomorrow, we're practicing for next. That's how short-lived a victory like this can be."
It sure was impressive, though.
The Badgers (12-4, 3-0 Big Ten) scored the game's first 14 points and led by 20 at halftime on the way to their sixth straight win.
It was a stunning performance from a team that scored just 47 in its previous game, against Nebraska, but a supposedly slow and methodical group locked into a higher gear and ended the suspense almost as soon as the game began.
Whether they were making 3-pointers, driving for layups, putting back misses or throwing down dunks, the Badgers had their way in this one. They outshot Illinois 49.1 percent to 35.3 percent, making 10 of 23 3-pointers, and outrebounded the Illini 43-24.
Berggren, a 6-foot-10 senior, had the first double-double of his career and maybe quieted some teammates.
"I don't care too much about stats," he said. "But it was definitely something that we joked about in the locker room. The guys always made fun of me when I (would have stat lines like) 12 and 9 or something, I would be like one rebound short. But it's fun to finally get over the hump."
Jackson eclipsed his previous high of 13 points, and Sam Dekker scored 13.
It was certainly not what Illinois (14-4, 1-3) envisioned coming off a loss to No. 8 Minnesota. The Illini have lost four of six after winning their first 12 under new coach John Groce.
"At the end of the day, their competitive spirit was better than ours at the start of the game," Groce said. "That is not acceptable. That is not what we're about."
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