Brad Davison has a reputation. Wisconsin’s junior guard can charitably be described as a player who will do whatever it takes to give the Badgers an edge. Less charitably, he can be described as dirty, with a growing list of viral clips that have led to allegations of cheap shots and flopping by opponents.
Davison turned himself into a story again Monday night vs. No. 18 Iowa. This time, the incident played a significant role in costing Wisconsin what would have been a huge road win.
The Badgers led Iowa by 12 points with just over seven minutes remaining. Wisconsin, which entered at 12-8 overall and 5-4 in conference, needed this victory in the worst way to keep pace in the Big Ten and continue to burnish their resume for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Just as it looked like the Badgers were rolling, Iowa staked a furious comeback that was cemented by another cheap shot from Davison.
The Hawkeyes had taken a three-point lead with 32 seconds left as Davison stuck out his arm while trying to get around on screen on defense. He hit Iowa’s Connor McCaffery directly in the junk, and was called for a technical foul.
Brad Davison with another crotch shot off the screen at a horrific time.— Mike Randle (@RandleRant) January 28, 2020
Flagrant foul with Iowa up 3 and 30 seconds left pic.twitter.com/HQ7Gkct5y6
The call would eliminate Wisconsin’s best chance at a comeback. The Badgers would lose, 68-62, with Iowa closing the game on a 23-5 run.
Here’s another view of the technical foul:
“He grabbed me right in the — where you don’t want to be grabbed in,” McCaffery said about Davison. “He does that. He’s marked for doing that. He’s the type of player, unfortunately, who feels the need to do that stuff. Tonight he cost them the game.”
Davison’s antics have become so familiar throughout college basketball that even Wisconsin fans have stopped defending him.
I am a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and I blog about the Badgers on a daily basis and I have to get this off my chest: Brad Davison is a dirty player.— Rich Hammie Quan (@drewhamm5) January 28, 2020
It is hard to give Davison the benefit of the doubt at this point. He’s pulled the junk-shot-while-trying-to-get-around-a-screen move before. He has appeared to trip opponents. He once took five charges in a game, and won a game for the Badgers by flopping on an inbounds pass.
Wisconsin is still projected to be a No. 8 seed in Chris Dobbertean’s latest Bracketology update, but their margin for error is getting slimmer. At a certain point, Davison is hurting his team more than he’s helping them.