Usually when you go to the Bahamas it is for pleasure, but for the second ranked Wisconsin Badgers (7-0) were all business this week in winning three games in three days to take the Battle 4 Atlantis crown.
Awesome story ledes aside, the Badgers took down UAB, Georgetown, and Oklahoma on their way to, what they hope is, the first of many trophies this season. Wisconsin won 69-56 on Friday over the Sooners to claim the title of Kings of the Sea (suck it, Poseidon) and Frank Kaminsky was named tournament Most Outstanding Player, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the championship game.
A loaded field lost a little bit of its luster when UNC, Florida, and UCLA lost their first games, but Wisconsin soldiered on and toughed out wins over Georgetown and Oklahoma in consecutive days for their first Battle 4 Atlantis trophy ever. In their opening game, the Badgers steamrolled UAB 72-43. Kaminsky led the way with 16 and eight and even added in three blocks, while Duje Dukan chipped in 11 points off the bench. Zak Showalter even had a put back dunk that probably earned him extra sprints in practice because it was too athletic. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Zak Showalter put back dunk! <a href="https://twitter.com/BadgerMBB">@BadgerMBB</a> <a href="http://t.co/rx2Vj3F0DJ">pic.twitter.com/rx2Vj3F0DJ</a></p>— DXL (@TrendChaser102) <a href="https://twitter.com/TrendChaser102/status/537786380769050624">November 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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In the semifinals, the Badgers barely bested the Hoyas, and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, 68-65. Smith-Rivera went off for 29 points and, clearly, couldn't be guarded by anyone on the Badgers' roster. With Kaminsky having an off day (1-of-8 shooting for six points), Sam Dekker, Bronson Koenig, and Nigel Hayes stepped up and scored 17, 14, and 15 points respectively. The Badgers paraded to the free throw line against Georgetown, making 20 of their 27 attempts on the day.
In their third and final contest, Wisconsin outlasted a game Oklahoma squad in the championship. Kaminsky stuffed the stat sheet in barely over a half's worth of playing time (due to 1st half foul trouble). Detective Kaminsky said after the game that he was "pissed off" about the early foul trouble. While he was riding the pine, Dukan (13 points, six rebounds) came in and drained three triples to keep the Badgers above water. Dekker and Hayes were in double figures as well, but it was Traevon Jackson who shined along with Kaminsky. Jackson had 13 points, eight assists, and three steals while playing (mostly) mistake free basketball. Koenig came off the bench and added five assists of his own.
The Badgers passed their first major test of the season, but don't have any time to rest as Duke comes calling on Wednesday night in the B1G/ACC Challenge.