Juwan Howard punching Joe Krabbenhoft during the BIG10 battle.

Juwan Howard and the BIG10 Battle for the Ages

Basketball Entertainment Gophers NCAA

Oh my word. The BIG10 battle between the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball teams turned into a beautiful mesh of WWE WrestleMania and The Malice in the Palace 2.0. Finger-pointing, jaw clenching, face slapping, and punch throwing between grown adults over a basketball game. Does it get any better? Absolutely not, especially at 2:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re in for a treat.

Tension Building:

With around 15 seconds left in the game and up 15 points, Wisconsin coach Greg Gard called a timeout. He called it to reset the backcourt clock to make sure the reserves had a full chance to get the ball up the court against Michigan’s press “5 pressure defense man to man” as Howard puts it. Press, 5 pressure defense man to man, totally different things. Got it.

Naturally, Juwan freaked out due to this unsportsmanlike timeout. I mean taking a timeout up 15, late in a basketball game is apparently the end of the world. I mean it’s not like the other team was pressing reserves with their starters in the same scenario. 

The Event:

Anyway, the game ends, and CBS’ college basketball credits begin to roll. However, the real entertainment was just about to start. Usually, once the credits start and the NCAA music fades out, the next program begins. In this case, the announcers kept talking and the camera kept filming. Thank God they did. 

Wow. I think Juwan Howard forgot he’s an ex-basketball player and went for the full-blown Kane chokeslam. Let’s break it down. This might be the worst punch of all time. Second, I think this might be premeditated. Not necessarily the fight but the punch itself. He clearly wants to throw hands as soon as the game finishes, but tries to be a bigger man and just give Gard the cold shoulder instead. Once Gard grabs his forearm, it’s game on. Howard’s got an in. The BIG10 battle of the century can now happen. He can’t closed fist punch because he might lose his job. He can’t slap him because he’s a 6’10”, 240lbs former NBA All-Star. The answer…full force open hand smack. Nailed it.

Almost. I think Juwan blacked out with rage because Joe Krabbenhoft, ex-Badger and current assistant coach received the cruel and unusual punishment as Coach Gard removed himself from the situation a few seconds before. After the smack, full chaos breaks lose. Everything, and I mean everything, started to happen.

First, the BIG10 officiant actively lost his mind. Then, Coach Howard tossed his All-American Hunter Dickinson. After that, Badger assistants got wrecked left and right like they played for Michigan today. Lastly, Michigan and Badger athletes chucked punches like they were Jake and Logan Paul. Absolute madness.

The Aftermath:

Obviously, this looks bad for basketball and you never want anyone to get hurt. Further, that doesn’t mean the BIG10 battle wasn’t the event of the day. Likely, Howard’s going to receive a suspension and fine for his actions. Multiple players might receive suspensions as well.


Fortunately, for you Minnesota Gopher fans, they host Bucky on Wednesday with a chance for a big win against a ranked team. Maybe they can keep whatever little tournament hopes they have left alive, otherwise, they might end up just like Michigan in a different tournament.