Michigan vs. Wisconsin fight: Juwan Howard hardly only party to blame for overshadowing sport’s big weekend

This weekend marked the first of the year that college basketball has been given the stage to itself without the NFL looming over everything, as it always does. So, what is the big story to come out of this weekend with the NBA on All-Star break and no more football to appease the masses?

Is it great-again Gonzaga earning the No. 1 overall seed in the selection committee’s February bracket reveal? Is it Auburn taking a surprising loss at Florida, which in turn jolted the Gators’ rickety NCAA Tournament hopes? Is it Kentucky and Kansas continuing to look like title contenders, or perhaps it’s Texas Tech’s continuation of a remarkable run in its first season after Chris Beard left for hated Texas?

It’s obviously none of those things.

Juwan Howard hitting Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft in the head is the story, though this debacle is much more than one man assaulting another.

Howard is far from the only person at fault for the ugly scene that flared up at the end of No. 15 Wisconsin’s 77-63 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon.

Howard is one of the sport’s biggest names coaching at one of the sport’s biggest programs. He’ll be the biggest piece of this story, the focal part who will probably receive as harsh a punishment as anyone. He should. That’s fair. Head coaches are supposed to set an example for their programs, and Howard failed in that charge Sunday.

What happened in Madison, Wisconsin, was an embarrassing display made even worse because, bafflingly, Howard did not walk back his actions or apologize for doing what he did when he spoke at the postgame press conference.

“I didn’t like the timeout they called, and I’m being totally honest with you,” Howard said. “I thought it was not necessary at that moment, especially with it being a large lead.”

Frustration spilled over Sunday for Howard and Michigan, which entered this game borderline in need of a win to maintain a positive…


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