But seriously - have you ever seen the magical powers of a stenographer? pic.twitter.com/36exonv2CG-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 21, 2015
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MADISON, Wis. - For the 17th-straight season, the Wisconsin men's basketball team will be dancing in March. That streak, tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the country, is impressive on its own.
However, when coupled with the success of the football team since Barry Alvarez took over in 1990, the results are amazing. The Badgers have participated in a bowl game and made the NCAA tournament every year since 2002-03. That run of 13 straight seasons of going bowling and playing in the tourney is by far the longest streak in the country.
Big Ten rival Michigan State has the second-longest streak in the country at eight-straight seasons. After that, Louisville and San Diego State have put together five-year runs. But no other school in the country has done it for more than four consecutive years.
If you wanted to go back even further, since the 1996-97 season, UW has played in 18 bowl games and 18 NCAA tournaments. That combined 36 postseason appearances also leads the nation. Coming in at No. 2 is Texas, with 34 total appearances (17 bowl games and 17 NCAA tourneys), followed by Florida with 33 (19 bowl games and 14 NCAA tourneys).
Individually, the Badgers boasted two of their respective sports' best in Melvin Gordon and Frank Kaminsky. If, as expected, Kaminsky is named a finalist for the John Wooden Award, Wisconsin would be the only school in the country to have multiple Heisman Trophy and Wooden Award finalists since 2006-07. Kaminsky would join Alando Tucker, a 2007 Wooden finalist, while Gordon and Montee Ball have both been Heisman finalists in the last four years.
Maintaining the Badgers' high level of success in both sports simply isn't done anywhere else.
Wisconsin's football team has qualified for a bowl game and its men's basketball team has earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament for 13 consecutive years (every year since the start of the 2002 season). That is the longest streak in the country, five years longer than Michigan State's streak, which is the second-longest.
* Wisconsin - 13 years (2002-03 to 2014-15)
* Michigan State - 8 years (2007-08 to 2014-15)
* Louisville - 5 years (2010-11 to 2014-15)
* San Diego State - 5 years (2010-11 to 2014-15)
Since the start of the 1996 season, UW's football and men's basketball teams have combined for more bowl appearances and NCAA Tournament appearances than ANY OTHER school in the country.
* Wisconsin - 36 (18 bowl games, 18 NCAA tournaments)
* Texas - 34 (17 bowl games, 17 NCAA tournaments)
* Florida - 33 (19 bowl games, 14 NCAA tournaments)
BIG TEN'S BEST
Wisconsin had both the Chicago Tribune Silver Football (Big Ten MVP) winner (Melvin Gordon) and the player of the year in men's basketball (Frank Kaminsky). That has only happened eight other times in Big Ten history and just once in the last 33 years (Indiana in 2001-02: Antwaan Randle El and Jared Jeffries).
All this success has not gone unnoticed. Frank Kaminsky graces the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, marking the eighth time in the last calendar year that a Badger has been featured on the cover of the preeminent sports magazine. Kaminsky himself has been on the cover three times since last March, making him the only athlete, college or pro, to be featured on the cover more than twice in that time.
In addition to Kaminsky, Melvin Gordon appeared on the cover in November, Josh Gasser was featured with Kaminsky when the Badgers made the Final Four and former UW athletes Russell Wilson (twice), J.J. Watt and Ryan McDonough have been cover boys.
From the look and sound of things, Dekker has taken full advantage of his most recent opportunity.
I know you're here for LeBron news and LeBron news only, but the most impressive guys in the college camp are Sam Dekker and Kelly Oubre.-- Zac Jackson (@FSOhioZJackson) July 10, 2014
Sam Dekker is pretty good. Knows a lot. Does a lot. #LeBronJamesSkillsAcademy-- Coach John Lucas (@CoachJohnLucas1) July 10, 2014
All these young high school players need to be watching 6'9" Sam Dekker's work ethic in all these drills! Excellent footwork! He grinds!!-- Joey_Velasquez (@HoopsWhisperer) July 9, 2014
Sam Dekker has been really, really good thus far here at LeBron James Camp. Consistently assertive, making shots, defending, passing, etc.-- Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 11, 2014
Two weeks removed from one of the greatest seasons in Wisconsin history, the men's basketball team will be celebrating a year that witnessed 30 wins and a magical trip to the Final Four at Thursday's Postseason Celebration.
With so many great wins and highlights, it's nearly impossible for us to decide the "Best of the Badgers" for the 2013-14 season. So we need your help.
We've come up with five categories for Badgers fans to vote on to help determine the: Game of the Year, the Highlight of the Year, the Moment of the Year, the Team Achievement of the Year and the Image of the Year.
Cast your vote below. Results will be revealed at Thursday's event and posted on UWBadgers.com soon after.
Thanks fans for one of the most memorable seasons at the Kohl Center and beyond!
|Game of the Year|
|Highlight of the Year|
|Moment of the Year|
|Team Achievement of the Year|
|Image of the Year|
6. Whoa... Getting the full Cali experience. Earthquake in Anaheim. #Fieldof8-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 29, 2014
4. Get loose #Fieldof16# pic.twitter.com/1YebQPrsNa-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 27, 2014
Wednesday was the Badgers' introduction to the Honda Center, the site of UW's Sweet 16 game vs. Baylor on Thursday night. But before they got to step on the court, the players and coaching staff met with the media to talk about the matchup with Baylor. The complete transcript from the podium sessions with Coach Ryan, Ben Brust and Traevon Jackson can be found here.
In addition, here are some quotes from the Badgers' open locker room:
Sam Dekker on defending Baylor's big men: "Me and Frank [Kaminsky] will probably have to share the duties inside on those two early on. It doesn't matter who we have [to defend] as long as we are physical. We need to out-tough them. We can't play weaker on those guys, otherwise they will eat you alive."
Josh Gasser on Baylor's strong play in March: "They are playing really well right now. You have to come out with a lot of energy and match their intensity. It will be a physical game with their bigs down low. We have to come out right from the start."
Bronson Koenig on breaking down Baylor film: "Obviously we saw a lot of length and athleticism out of them. They are quick in closing out on the shooters in their zone."
Also check out our complete photo gallery of the Badgers' day at the Honda Center.
28. Nigel, Sam, Trae meeting w/media right now. Nigel on whether he likes seeing upsets: "Personally I fear upsets." pic.twitter.com/MZ5AJr5CXJ-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 21, 2014
24. Another round of wake up calls for Ben Eckburg this a.m. You can never underestimate the value of team managers #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014
23. Nothing like a police escort for the 3 block drive from the hotel to the arena. #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014
18. Shoot around: the only place on Earth you will witness Evan Anderson drain a 3 off the dribble while coming off a screen #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 22, 2014
2. Oregon going with what they refer to as "Apple Green" uniforms. Ducks are 1-3 in these fits #Fieldof32-- Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) March 23, 2014
The partisan Bradley Center crowd was getting a little antsy about midway through the first half but a Ben Brust 3-pointer ignited a 22-5 run over the final 9:17 to give Wisconsin a 32-22 lead heading into halftime.
The Badgers started the half hot offensively, going inside to Frank Kaminsky for their first three buckets of the game. A dunk by Sam Dekker gave the Badgers a 10-5 lead but then UW went cold, missing its next seven shots. During that time American went on a 12-0 run until Brust halted it with Wisconsin's first 3-pointer of the game, at the 9:17 mark. From that point until the end of the half, American scored just five points, going 1-7 from the field with four turnovers.
After a hot start, Kaminsky picked up his second foul with 4:44 left in the half. Undaunted, the Badgers outscored the Eagles 12-4 the rest of the way.
At the half, Brust leads all scorers with 11 points, Jackson has seven and Kaminsky has six. Guard John Shoof started hot for American and led the Eagles with eight points.
Despite missing seven in a row at one point, UW finished 11-of-26 (.423) from the field and made all seven of its free throw attempts. American was 8-of-18 (.444) from the field, 3-of-4 from the free throw line and committed eight turnovers.