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Anders Holm visit a thrill for Badgers

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The 2012-13 season was monumental for the University of Wisconsin swimming and diving program.

Not only did more than a dozen Badgers earn all-american honors, but the men's squad crowned its first individual NCAA champion (Drew teDuits) in over five decades and the women's team saw Ivy Martin set a Big Ten record in the 50-yard freestyle en route to her Big Ten championship.

It was fitting that the Badgers capped off the 2013 academic year with another memorable moment: a visit from Workaholics star, Anders Holm.

Holm, a 2003 graduate of UW and former member of the swim squad, stopped by the team's facilities on Friday afternoon to visit with the coaches and student-athletes. The Comedy Central comic was in town to deliver the 2013 commencement address at all four ceremonies over the weekend, but found time to reconnect with his former team and many of the student-athletes who were in his shoes just 10 years ago.

@BadgerSwimDive chronicled the visit, while many of the student-athletes quickly turned to Twitter to show their gratitude for Holm. Here is an archived account of the afternoon's events, including a video of the comedian hitting the pool for a relay race with members of the coaching staff:

Tough Ticket: 2013-14 schedule taking shape

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Although next year's slate is far from complete, the Badgers have many of the pieces in place for the 2013-14 season. That schedule will feature one of the toughest home slates in school history. According to ESPN.com's preseason Top-25, Wisconsin will host seven of the top-25 teams in the nation.

No. 3 Michigan State, No. 7 Florida, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 10 Michigan, No. 16 Marquette, No. 20 Indiana and No. 25 Iowa are all scheduled to visit the Kohl Center next winter.

Wisconsin opens the season with a pair of big-time showdowns against St. John's and Florida. The season tips off in Sioux Falls, S.D., with a neutral-site game against the Red Storm on Nov. 8. The contest will be the first-ever Division I college basketball game played in the new Sanford Pentagon, a $19 million complex which is scheduled to open this fall. 

The Badgers then open the Kohl Center with a Nov. 12 appointment with the Gators.

The league schedule is also beginning to take shape as the Big Ten announced which conference rivals will face off only one time next season. Among Wisconsin's single-plays in 2013-14 will be trips to Penn State and Nebraska, as well as home dates with Michigan State and Ohio State.

As a result, UW will play twice against Purdue, Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern, its four single-plays from last season. 

The Badgers and Buckeyes split their series last season, with the host team protecting home court on both occasions. The Badgers will not have to visit Michigan State in 2013-14, a site where they have not won since 2003-04.

The Badgers swept both Nebraska and Penn State last year.

Tentative non-conference schedule:
Nov. 8: St. John's (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Nov. 12: Florida (Kohl Center)
Nov. 26: vs. St. Louis (Cancun)
Nov. 27: vs. West Virginia/Old Dominion (Cancun)
Dec. 4: at Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)

*BOLD indicates home game (Nov. 8 neutral site showdown vs. St. John's will serve as home game for Badgers)

Field of 68: Tweeting 68 observations until tip-off

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Another bid to the NCAA Tournament means another round of #Fieldof68. Let us guide you on the Badgers journey leading up to their opening round match-up with the Ole Miss Rebels. 68 teams in the tournament, that means 68 inside-access tweets about Wisconsin from @BadgerMBB all the way up to Friday morning's tip between the Badgers and Rebels.

VIDEO: Top-10 goals of the 2012 season

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As we shift into the spring and look ahead to next season, let's take one last look at the 2012 season by scrolling through the best goals that highlighted an exciting year of Badgers women's soccer.

10. Monica Lam-Feist kicks off the season on the right foot (literally) with her game-winning score against Notre Dame in the regular-season opener. 


9. McKenna Meuer sends a sniper to the back of the net against Michigan State.


8. Lexi Peterson records her first career goal in a crucial Big Ten battle.


7. Cara Walls ices Illinois State in OT with her 2nd score of the match.


6. Kinley McNicoll puts away South Dakota State with her second goal of the game.


5. Lindsey Johnson sets up Cara Walls for a header against South Dakota State.


4. Kodee Williams gets in on the fun vs. South Dakota State with a left-footed goal.


3. Lindsey Holmes spearheads a comeback win over Illinois with her game-tying goal late in regulation.


2. Joana Bielefeld shuts the door on Indiana as the Badgers secure the comeback win on the senior's game-winning goal.


1. Cara Walls puts the cap on the 2012 regular season with her 2OT goal against Illinois in the regular-season finale.

Fresh Faces: UW class of 2013 update

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With the high school basketball season winding down, five of Wisconsin's incoming freshmen are closing in on their final days as prep standouts. Two signees who have become close friends since making their commitment to UW are Ohio natives Vitto Brown and Nigel Hayes, who were recently featured in an article by the Toledo Blade (Photo Courtesy of The Blade/Andy Morrison). 

Here is an update on all five incoming Badgers:

Vitto Brown: 6-8, 240, F, Bowling Green (Ohio), HS
An honorable mention all-state pick as a junior, Vitto Brown is averaging 21.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and shooting 61.7% from the field this season at Bowling Green High School. Last weekend, Brown went head-to-head with Michigan signee Mark Donnal (Whitehouse, Ohio) and came away with a win, tallying 25 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks. The 6-foot-8 forward surpassed the 1,000-point career scoring mark on Feb. 2, recording a 39-point, 16-rebound effort in a 77-61 win against Medina. Brown averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game last season. (VIDEO: Vitto Brown Highlights)

Riley Dearring: 6-5, 180, G, Minnetonka, Minn. (HS)
Riley Dearring is averaging 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game this season for Minnetonka High School. Dearring, who recently eclipsed the 1,000-point career scoring plateau, returned from breaking his wrist a couple of weeks ago to score 17 points in a 73-61 win over rival Hopkins. A four-year varsity player for the Skippers, Dearring earned All-Lake Conference honors last season as a junior after averaging 15 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. (VIDEO: Riley Dearring Highlights)

Nigel Hayes: 6-7, 230, F, Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer HS)
A three-time MVP for Whitmer High School in Toledo, Nigel Hayes scored his 1,000th career point in December and is averaging 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game for Whitmer during his senior campaign. Hayes averaged nearly a double-double last season (14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds), while becoming the school's all-time leader in blocked shots. He earned first-team Northwest District selection and second-team all-state honoree and was named to the 2012 OHSSA Division I State Tournament Team. (VIDEO: Nigel Hayes Highlights)

Jordan Hill: 6-3, 175, G, Pasadena, Calif. (Exeter Academy, N.H.)
A post-grad from Pasadena, Calif., Jordan Hill is tallying 7.5 points, 8.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game for Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H. Hill graduated from LaSalle High School in Pasadena, Calif. in May earning first-team all-Del Rey League honors as a senior. He posted per game averages of 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals and was a second-team All-California Interscholastic Federation honoree.

Bronson Koenig: 6-3, 170, G, La Crosse, Wis. (Aquinas)
La Crosse, Wis., native Bronson Koenig is a nominee for the 2013 McDonald's All-American game and is averaging 16.1 points during his senior campaign after missing the majority of his junior year with an injury. Koenig tallied a game-high 25 points this past week as Aquinas defeated Madison Edgewood, 75-49. Despite missing several games, Koenig averaged 18 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last season. Koenig's breakout season came as a sophomore when he earned first-team All-State accolades after leading La Crosse Aquinas to the 2010 Division III State Championship. The co-conference Player of the Year that season, Koenig racked up 17.0 points and 3.0 assists per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. (VIDEO: Bronson Koenig Highlights)

Shooting for a cure: Coaches to participate in Suits & Sneakers weekend

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This weekend, Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin coaches are participating in the annual Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend. By wearing sneakers with their suits, the coaching staffs from both teams are trying to raise awareness of the many ways people can reduce their risk of cancer, like eating right, exercising, making healthy lifestyle choices, and following the American Cancer Society's recommended cancer screening guidelines.
Coach Healy
Bo-Tie
'Dress up' the Kohl Center Saturday

  • Fans are encouraged to help up 'dress up' the Kohl Center by wearing today's 'Bo Tie' t-shirts provided by Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin as part of the Suits and Sneakers weekend. 
  • People not attending Saturday's game can purchase the Bo-Tie t-shirt at the UW Bookstore online, or at Bucky's Locker room with all proceeds going to Coaches vs. Cancer.


This year's gala will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Kohl Center.

In 2013, Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin will hold its 6th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala, an evening filled with dinner, a silent auction and impressive keynote speakers. Past galas have featured special guests like Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and ESPN's Jay Bilas.

Since its inception, Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin has raised over $1 million for the fight against cancer. The funds raised go directly towards the American Cancer Society's mission of celebrating more Birthdays.

Contact CvC Wisconsin at 608-662-7555 or CVCWI@cancer.org for additional information.

Charity Stripe Challenge
Earlier this year, Bo and his wife, Kelly Ryan, witnessed over 1,600 UW-Madison students brave undesirable weather conditions to participate in the Charity Stripe Challenge, raising a grand total of $41,279. 

"My wife and I did this event because we firmly believe that with enough funding, a cure for cancer will be found. We took this as another opportunity to have our team interact with the students and involve our campus in this event. What a fun time and for a great cause. I figure one of these half-court shots might be the difference in curing cancer."

Nearly all UW athletic teams were represented as well as numerous campus organizations, including the Homecoming Committee and Colleges Against Cancer. In total, 36 UW students made half-court shots, which were worth a $1,000 donation each and countless students made the $10 free throw.

Center Stage: What they're saying about the Badgers

ESPN_crop.jpgJust a week ago the Badgers were nowhere to be found on the national radar. Now after a pair of wins over top-15 foes, including UW's 64-59 upset at second-ranked Indiana on Tuesday, Wisconsin finds itself directly in the national crosshairs.

Here are a few things being said about the Badgers:

After the Badgers' 64-59 win at No. 2 Indiana on Tuesday night, you can lose the thought of Wisconsin having anything resembling a "down" season. And you can repeat the phrase until it hums like a mantra.

Never doubt Wisconsin.

Eammon Brennan (ESPN.com)

Wisconsin was trending on Twitter Tuesday night, here's a sampling of why:


Weiss, Team USA invade Turkey

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After being named to the U.S. National Team late this past summer, Wisconsin senior Michael Weiss is enjoying his first taste of international competition as he ventures to Istanbul, Turkey, for the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships. Weiss, who is teaming up with members of the U.S.'s 2012 Olympic squad, including gold medalist Ryan Lochte, will compete for Team USA once the meet begins on Dec. 12. 

The Reno, Nev., native is joined on the trip by Badgers swim and dive head coach Whitney Hite who was named an assistant for Team USA at the short course world championships. Weiss will be updating us on all that is happening in Turkey throughout the trip, from start to finish. Follow his journey as Weiss blogs about his experiences both in and out of the pool.

Monday, Dec. 17

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I'm heading home back to Madison! It was a fantastic last night of racing -- enjoyed being able to hang out with the team a little more. Going to this meet was one of the best experiences of my life and I can't wait participate in future world competitions for Team USA. I got to know, learn from, and hang out with many Olympians that I've looked up to for a long time, as well as the young swimmers that I will be traveling with a lot in the future.

Moving forward, I have already turned all my focus back on the college season and NCAA's and can't wait to finish out a great senior year!!
-Weiss



Saturday, Dec. 15

McDs_cropped.jpgAnother great day in Istanbul! I've begun training hard again to continue my focus on the college season and NCAA's. Now that I am done competing I am able to relax and cheer on the rest of the team. 

The U.S. has been doing a great job throughout the meet and I watched Ryan Lochte win the 200 IM last night and set a world record! Today between prelims and finals I was able to get out of the hotel and walk around a little visiting our hometown favorites Starbucks and McDonalds, although the fries and chicken nuggets didn't taste quite as deliciously unhealthy. Then we explored the streets and went to a store to buy all different kinds of candy, which consisted of mostly variations of chocolate wafers with nuts. 

Tonight we are heading to the pool to watch another great night of finals and cheer on America! One more day left in Turkey and I can't wait to come back to Wisconsin to enjoy some cheese curds, a Greenbush doughnut, and Ian's pizza!!
-Weiss


Friday, Dec. 14

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I had a great first day (ever) of international competition and was able to conquer all of my goals. The night before competition, the head coach told me I would be anchoring the 800 free relay as well after my individual event and I was extremely happy I was given that opportunity. I knew I was capable of a great 200 free and helping Team USA bring home the gold later that night. 

During the finals session leading up to my 400IM I remained very relaxed and confident as I always am, and anxiously sat in the ready room with my competition. Wearing the red, white, and blue jacket and putting on a cap with my last name under the American flag, was all the motivation and excitement I needed for fast swimming. 

The doors opened, my name was announced, an I heard the team chanting USA as I walked to the blocks. I was able to drop another second from my morning swim and get 7th place. To top off the great day I was already having, later that night the relay I was on won gold for America and officially made me a World Champion! Overall, it was an awesome experience and I'm excited to come back to Madison with a gold medal!!!
- Weiss 
                                                                                       

Wednesday, Dec. 12

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World championships has officially started! The head of USA swimming gave the team a great pump up speech about representing your country and making them proud. Team USA had some really good swims on day one of the meet and we hope to keep it going throughout the weekend. 

As much as I would've loved to watch the opening ceremonies and first night of finals tonight, I spent most of my day in the hotel room resting and shaving to get ready for tomorrow! I will be swimming the 400 IM and I will also anchor the 800 free relay in the morning session. Can't wait to get out there and race and make Wisconsin and America proud!
-Weiss

Tuesday, Dec. 11

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Yesterday we took a tour through Old Town Istanbul. Due to a constantly growing population there is traffic everywhere 24/7. Fortunately for the U.S. team we have a police escort on a motorcycle blocking lanes off and weaving us through traffic to get us there faster.

We started off by going shopping at a bazaar, a market with a bunch of little shops set up in it. Unfortunately for me most of the shops consisted of rugs, jewelry, and scarves so I ended up not getting anything except a pastry for dessert.  And then we went and visited the Blue Mosque (a really cool famous place with a lot of history, but I couldn't hear the tour guide haha)

We woke up today and went and warmed up to get ready for competition to start tomorrow.

Now that all countries are here many of the warm up lanes swam in the reverse direction, which helped me understand why our foreigners struggle when first coming to America. We will spend the rest of today resting, stretching, and getting ready for the meet to start tomorrow!!!
- Weiss


Friday, Dec. 7 (Team departs for Turkey)

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We started off the journey with plane delays and flight cancellations, but got a nice jog as we hustled from gate to gate -- we just barely made our connection to Istanbul! Had a nice time on the flight getting to know all the members of Team USA and hanging out with great flight attendants to keep us happy and amused for the long flight.

We arrived in Istanbul and checked into our hotel and had some down time after not sleeping at all the night before. Finally, we went to the pool and warmed up and got excited for a good week of fun and fast swimming. So far, all of our meals have been similar to an Indian food buffet back in the states - we have baklava for dessert every day, so I could definitely get used to this!
- Weiss

An ode to the seniors

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As the saying goes, college is the fastest four years of your life.

Six seniors on the University of Wisconsin women's soccer team had an opportunity to extend their college soccer experience by doing something only 16 other senior classes have accomplished at UW  -- earning a bid to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships.

After a 12-7-1 mark, the Badger senior class guided the UW to its third NCAA tournament berth in four years. Many of the current seniors experienced Wisconsin's 2009 Sweet 16 run, so the success the team saw this season was unprecedented, and frankly inevitable.

Supported by talented underclassmen, seniors Lauren Gunderson, Olivia Hoff, Erin Jacobsen, Monica Lam-Feist, Lindsey Hamannm Joana Bielefeld and Lindsey Johnson, led a Badgers squad that was arguably one of UW head coach Paula Wilkins' strongest teams to date.

Considering Wilkins has a 21-8 overall record in NCAA tournament games, including a pair of College Cup Semifinal appearances, the fact that she described this year's squad as "special" is no small accolade.

The impact of the senior class rippled through the entire season, like a wave that travels across a large body of water, from one shore to another. It all began with the Badgers' season-opening win over Notre Dame -- the Badgers second win over the Fighting Irish all-time -- which was secured by a game-winning goal from Lam-Feist, a 2012 second team All-Big Ten honoree.  

Gunderson sparked the Badgers' 3-0 start, posting three-consecutive shutouts and finishing with five on the season. Bielefeld and Johnson were the unsung heroes at the midfielder and defender positions, respectively, deflecting nearly every potential scoring opportunity that threatened UW's keepers. Bielefeld also contributed a pair of goals in 2012 -- both were game-winning goals. Hoff, Hamann and Jacobsen all played supporting roles, but were instrumental in their team's development.

The 2012 class was vital in the success of the Wisconsin women's soccer program in more ways than one --  but more importantly, Wilkins' first recruiting class played the biggest role of all in laying the foundation for future classes to come.

IMG_9162_600.jpgThe Badgers hit the road for the second consecutive week as they continue their postseason in the 2012 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. Wisconsin is making its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last four years, and has been pair against No. 3-seeded UCLA. Join the trip by following this picture timeline, as the team travels to Los Angeles, Calif., in preparation for the opening round of the Big Dance.

Sunday, Nov. 11
12:05 a.m.:
The team hits the hotel once more to shower and, after a couple hours of lay time, heads to the airport to catch a red-eye flight to Minneapolis, then to Chicago. It's been a great trip and we can't wait to see what the spring and fall has in store for us. IMG_9209_airport_sm.jpg













Saturday, Nov. 10 (Gameday)
4:49 p.m.: And the countdown to kick off begins!!!
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10:03 a.m.: After gathering in the hotel lobby for breakfast, the team heads to a nearby meeting room to go over film. Never too early (in the morning) or too late (in the week) to polish up on in-game strategies.
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Friday, Nov. 9

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6:12 p.m.: The Badgers head to Drake Stadium for the team's final organized practice prior to tomorrow's NCAA opening-round match vs. third-seeded UCLA.  






12:54 p.m.: With a little bit of free time to roam, the Badgers hit Santa Monica Pier for a little shopping and sight-seeing. 

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10:48 a.m.: Becky McGrath and Marta Wangard lounge in the lobby as the squad awaits the green light on heading out to Santa Monica Pier for the afternoon.

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9:42 a.m.: As a result of the change in time zone, the Badgers got two extra hours of sleep before breakfast. The players really appreciated the hotel's buffet, especially "build-your-own-omelet" station.
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Thursday, Nov. 8
7:35 p.m.: After nearly nine hours of traveling, the Badgers hit Marina del Ray for a much-needed dinner. The place of choice is C & O Trattoria, which is famous for its never-ending (and absolutely delicious) garlic rolls. 

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ON WISCONSIN