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Gilreath runs away with fan vote

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After a week of voting, Badgers fans have spoken with their pick for the top play of the 2010-11 season. In reality, the contest was probably over before it started.

The play that got the football Badgers' thrilling 31-18 win over No. 1-ranked Ohio State "underway with ... a ... bang" ran away with nearly half the votes.

David Gilreath's 97-yard return for touchdown on the game's opening kickoff claimed 48.7 percent of the vote to take the title in the UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year poll.

Runner-up honors -- with 27.2 percent of the fan vote -- went to women's hockey's Kelly Nash, who tallied the game-winner in overtime to secure the WCHA Final Face-off crown over Minnesota.

Josh Gasser's buzzer-beating 3-pointer garnered 9.5 percent of the vote to finish third, and Landon Peacock's last-gasp pass for the Big Ten cross country title was fourth with 5.3 percent. Justin Schultz's overtime game-winner for the Badger men rounded out the top five with 4.3 percent.

Here's a look at the complete poll results:
48.7%  David Gilreath - Football - Opening kickoff return for TD vs. Ohio State (Oct. 16)
27.2%  Kelly Nash - Women's Hockey- OT game-winner in WCHA Final Face-Off (March 5)
9.5%   Josh Gasser - Men's Basketball - Buzzer-beating 3-pointer at Michigan (Feb. 23)
5.3%   Landon Peacock - Men's Cross Country - Late pass to win Big Ten title (Oct. 31)
4.3%   Justin Schultz - Men's Hockey - OT game-winning goal vs. Canisius (Jan. 8)
3.5%   Brad Nortman - Football - Fake punt to keep drive alive vs. Iowa (Oct. 23)
1.4%   Lin Zastrow - Women's Basketball - Game-tying tip-in at buzzer vs. Wyoming (Dec. 15)

And, in case you want to see it again, the top play in UW sports for 2010-11:


Play of the Year Nominee: David Gilreath

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 concludes Tuesday as we look back on the play that set the stage for Wisconsin's thrilling win over No. 1-ranked Ohio State under the lights at Camp Randall Stadium.

Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday.


David Gilreath - Football
Opening kickoff return for TD vs. Ohio State (Oct. 16)

The buildup to No. 16 Wisconsin's clash with No. 1-ranked Ohio State seemed almost unending, but it took just seconds for David Gilreath to show how the Badgers would respond to one of the most hyped games in their history. The senior took the opening kickoff and sprinted around and through the Buckeyes' coverage unit as part of a 97-yard return for touchdown, a score that paved the way for a 31-18 victory.

UW's first win over the nation's top-ranked team in 29 years set off one of the biggest celebrations in Camp Randall Stadium history -- and set the stage for a run to the Big Ten title.

Play of the Year Nominee: Kelly Nash

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 continues Saturday as we look back on the play that finished off the Badgers' sweep of the WCHA regular-season and tournament titles with a dramatic overtime win over Border Battle rival Minnesota.

Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday, June 29.


Kelly Nash - Women's Hockey
OT game-winner to win WCHA Final Face-Off (March 5)

With the WCHA Final Face-Off crown on the line in a rivalry matchup against Minnesota, the Badgers needed a lift in overtime. Their first lead of the game came with just 49 seconds to go in the extra period as senior Kelly Nash took a pass from fellow senior Geena Prough and wristed the game-winner past Gophers goaltender Noora Raty. The goal gave UW its fourth WCHA tournament title and kept the Badgers' unbeaten streak alive at 24 straight games.

Play of the Year Nominee: Lin Zastrow

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 continues Saturday as we look back on the play that kept the Badgers alive for an overtime period that allowed them to finish the non-conference slate with a big road win.

Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday, June 29.


Lin Zastrow - Women's Basketball
Game-tying tip-in at buzzer vs. Wyoming (Dec. 15)

The Badgers grabbed a key road win at Wyoming in their non-conference finale, but the 63-59 victory wouldn't have been if not for a clutch play from their senior leader. The Badgers had their chance for the final shot of regulation, but Alyssa Karel's jumper with 12 seconds remaining rimmed out. Fellow senior Lin Zastrow played hero, however, tipping in the rebound to push the contest to overtime.

Play of the Year Nominee: Brad Nortman

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 continues Friday as we look back on the play that had the Badgers' punter playing the unexpected hero as UW looked to rally for a Big Ten road win at Iowa.

Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday, June 29.


Brad Nortman - Football
Fake punt to keep drive alive vs. Iowa (Oct. 23)

Facing a fourth-and-4 and backed up on their own 26 yard line, the 10th-ranked Badgers dipped into their bag of tricks to keep a crucial late-game drive alive against No. 12 Iowa. With blocks laid out perfectly ahead of him, punter Brad Nortman tucked the ball and ran 17 yards to give UW a first down that kept the series moving and helped bring the Heartland Trophy back to Madison. The drive eventually led to Montee Ball's game-winning score in a dramatic 31-30 victory inside hostile Kinnick Stadium.

Entourage_Cast.jpgMany things separate Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez from other athletic directors.

Like the national championship that he won as a defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.

Like the three Rose Bowls that he won as the head coach of the Badgers.

Like his Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card and "Entourage.''

OK, so maybe he doesn't have an entourage, a retinue, per se; though he could make a case for one since he has been inducted into so many halls of fame, including the College Football Hall of Fame.

What he does have is a cameo appearance on the HBO series "Entourage.''

How many other ADs can say they were in a scene with Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven)?

"I've done some cool things in my day,'' Alvarez said. "But this was a great experience.''

He owes it all to a UW alum, Marquis Jet CEO/founder Kenny Dichter, whose entrepreneurial skills and business savvy can be traced back to his undergrad days on campus.

Dichter was the driving force behind "Late Night with the Badgers" and "Bleacher Creatures'' at the Field House. He has framed his success with passion, resiliency and match-making know-how.

Marquis Jet, as such, is affiliated with NetJets (read: Warren Buffett, who's expected to be in Madison for the Nebraska-Wisconsin football game in October).

To this end, Dichter has many friends in high places, including a fellow New Yorker by the name of Doug Ellin, the creator and executive producer of "Entourage.''

"Doug has come to a lot of our games with Kenny,'' Alvarez said. "So that's how I got to know Doug. Over the years, I've met some of the cast members of the show.''

Alvarez recently attended a NetJets/Marquis Jet function with Dichter and Ellin. One thing led to another and Ellin wound up inviting Alvarez to take part in an episode of "Entourage.''

The taping took place Tuesday in Hollywood.

Joining Alvarez on the set was "Da" Coach, Mike Ditka. Both attended high school in western Pennyslvania; Alvarez in Burgettstown, Ditka in Aliquippa. Both talk the same language.

Alvarez and Ditka were in a scene together with Jeremy Piven, the aforementioned Ari Gold; and Beverly D'Angelo (i.e. Ellen Griswold), whose "Entourage'' character is Babs Miller.

Both were raised on Big Ten turf.  Piven is from Evanston, Ill., while D'Angelo is from Columbus, Ohio. D'Angelo's grandfather, Howard Dwight Smith, was the architect of Ohio Stadium (the Horseshoe).

Alvarez was impressed with the professionalism of Piven and D'Angelo.

"They were so easy to work with,'' he said. "We had a lot of fun.''

So how many lines did Alvarez actually have?

"I greet Ari and I respond to something that Ditka says,'' Alvarez said. "You don't know how much is going to be used. It took us about three and half hours to tape less than a minute."

Was he star-struck?

"No, I felt very comfortable,'' he said. "They filmed our scene in an all-glass conference room, and you can't believe the amount of activity and the number of people that are involved in the taping.''

Alvarez had his very own dressing trailer.

And now he has his very own SAG card.

Sounded like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Or was it just once?

With a twinkle in his eye, Alvarez declined to comment.

Play of the Year Nominee: Josh Gasser

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 continues Thursday as we look back on a dramatic game-winner from a freshman who played like anything but a rookie as a regular starter for the UW men's basketball team.

Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday, June 29.


Josh Gasser - Men's Basketball
Buzzer-beating 3-pointer for win at Michigan (Feb. 23)

The 12th-ranked Wisconsin men's basketball team had plenty of time for a final shot, and logic said the Badgers would keep the ball in the hot hand of junior Jordan Taylor. When Michigan double-teamed Taylor, however, the stage was set for a heroic heave from Josh Gasser. The freshman responded by banking in a last-gasp 3-pointer that hit glass before splashing through the net as time expired on a 53-52 win over the Wolverines. The shot gave UW its 10th-straight win over Michigan and helped the Badgers secure a third-place finish in the Big Ten standings.


Play of the Year Nominee: Justin Schultz

Vote: UW Athletics 2010-11 Play of the Year

As UW Athletics continues its retrospective on the 2010-11 season, we debut a week-long look back on some of the season's top plays from across the Badgers' lineup of 23 sports.

Narrowing the list to just seven nominees was difficult, but now comes the fun part. We're asking fans to make their selections for the 2010-11 Wisconsin Athletics Play of the Year.

Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner next Wednesday, June 29.

We'll feature a nominee each day for the next week, highlighting one of the nominees on the front page of UWBadgers.com.

The process begins with an outstanding offensive play from a defenseman who proved he has no problems finding the back of the net from the blue line:

Justin Schultz - Men's Hockey
OT game-winning goal vs. Canisius (Jan. 8)

In the Badgers' final non-conference game of the season, visiting Canisius put up three goals in the third period to tie the score at 5-5 and force overtime at the Kohl Center. With just 8 seconds remaining in the extra session, Justin Schultz -- the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year -- took a pass from Jake Gardiner and tucked the puck in on the back side of the net for the game-winning tally. Schultz finished the year as the nation's top-scoring defenseman, but few of his tallies were as dramatic as this one:


What started out as a nervous and stressful last day of singles ended in victory for the 2011 Palmer Cup team. Being down one point going into the last day, we needed to win five-of-eight singles matches to claim the cup.


With stellar play from our guys, we did just that.  It came down to the last two matches and it was exciting to say the least.  The crowds were great and it could not of been a better experience. 

It was such an honor and a pleasure to spend a week with these eight players. As the week went on, the intensity level grew and their games took another step as well. With NCAAs a week prior and the U.S. Open looming the week ahead, it would of been easy for them to have tired, wondering minds.

 

I made eight new friends this week and certainly probably learned more from them from they did from me. It is amazing how much you can pick up in regards to routines, practice habits, and theories when you spend time with top players.

 

I want to thank Russell Henley (Georgia), Patrick Cantlay (UCLA) , Bank Vongvanij (Florida), Alex Carpenter (Abiline Christian), Daniel Miernicki (Oregon), Chris Williams (Washington), Andrew Yun (Stanford), Blaine Barber (Auburn), and Head Coach Tim Poe for a spectacular and memorable week! 

 

With the close of the Palmer Cup, my official time as a Badger has begun. I am overwhelmed with excitement regarding the opportunity in Madison and the goals that I have for this program. There is a lot of work to be done and I could not be more excited to get started. I want to thank all the Badger fans for their loyalty and support and I look forward to meeting many of you sometime soon!

 

May All Your Putts Fall,

Coach Burcin


NOTE: New University of Wisconsin head men's golf coach Michael Burcin is serving as an assistant coach with the Palmer Cup team. An assistant at South Carolina the past seven years, Burcin was named head coach at Wisconsin on May 31.
 
Burcin was named the 2010 Golf Coaches Association of America's Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year. In April he was selected to serve as an assistant at the 2011 Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition as teams of collegiate golfers from the United States and Europe square off in a three-day match play event.

"Heat wave strikes the northeast" was the heading in today's paper as Team USA began play in the 2011 Palmer Cup. At 7:30 a.m., with Arnold Palmer on the first tee, we began our quest to retain the cup.

ON WISCONSIN