Two days after Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger claimed Wisconsin fans spit on him while storming the court at the Kohl Center after Saturday's game, Badgers coach Bo Ryan said he's yet to see evidence of the incident.
"Every area of our facility is all videotaped. There is absolutely nothing that has come to my attention," Ryan said Monday during a teleconference with reporters. "All I know is we won the game, deal with it."
It's difficult to know for sure whether Sullinger told the truth without video evidence, but the way Ryan vehemently defended the reputation of Wisconsin fans was a bit surprising.
Lying doesn't fit the reputation Sullinger has established this season as one of college basketball's most humble, unassuming superstars. Furthermore, is it that difficult to believe that one or two liquored-up idiots in a crowd of 17,000 spit on an opposing player after an emotionally charged victory?
Ohio State coach Thad Matta reiterated Sullinger's version of the story when asked about it on the same conference call on Monday.
"A student ran by him and spit on him. Nothing too major," Matta said. "What are you going to do? Those things happen. It was a crazy environment, which was great for college basketball, for their fans and that sort of stuff. You don't want stuff like that to happen, but you can't do anything about it."
Sullinger didn't mention the incident to reporters on Saturday, but he tweeted about it later in the day. "To be spit on is just nasty," he wrote. "On top of that in my face. Before and after the game."
The fallout from Sullinger's accusations has stolen some of the headlines from an otherwise momentous Wisconsin victory. The Badgers rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit behind the brilliance of point guard Jordan Taylor, handing Sullinger and the Buckeyes their first loss of the season.