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Blog: Badgers travel on Thanksgiving

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While most people are spending time with their friends and family on Thanksgiving, the Wisconsin women's basketball team is preparing for two games this weekend.

As the team was en route to the West Coast for the Concord Hilton Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, Calif., UWBadgers.com caught up with some of the players and coaches to find out what they are thankful for.

Updates from Big Ten Basketball Media Day

Big Ten Basketball Media Day is well underway here at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont, Ill. Men's head coach Bo Ryan is in the middle of cycling through interviews with Sirius/XM Satellite Radio and ESPN, while women's head coach Lisa Stone is awaiting the start of her press conference.

Here are few Tweets from @BadgerMBBall at Media Day:

Bo Ryan: "Jared Berggren could be the sleeper sophomore that people don't know about, but will."

Ryan: "The best thing u can say about a PG is that Jordan Taylor raises the level of his teammates. He'll be governor in 10 yrs."

Beilien to Ryan: "How's Krabbenhoft looking this year? He was around so long I'm expecting to see him again this year when we play you."

Ryan to ESPN: "Keaton is delightful. He goes to his own drummer, but he's got a strong beat going right now. This could be his year."

E'twaun Moore told Jordan he could avg 20 pts this year and Jordan said, "Nah, I'll avg 3-4 pts. I'm just going to pass the ball to Leuer."

Taylor: "Being from MN, I hated the Badgers til I was about 15. Then I got my first letter from them and I flipped sides. Then I loved em."

MSU's Draymond Green: "Working out in the off-season, I was thinking about getting quicker cuz of what Jon Leuer did vs. me."

Read what Bo Ryan had to say at this year's Big Ten media day press conference:

Tom Crean on Leuer: "I put him in a Kyle Singler class - and Jon might be bigger. He's going to have a long career after he's gone from UW."

Ann Arbor News did an unofficial poll of Big Ten media. Guess who has two of the most underrated players in the league? http://ow.ly/31uXg

Coach Stone at Badger Days 2010

Coach Lisa Stone traveled with her fellow coaches and staff to the Badger Days event in Milwaukee on June 8. Coach Stone took a couple minutes from her busy schedule to write a Blog on her experience, including a 3-2 win by the Brewers over the Cubs.

Badger Days takes over Lambeau

IMG_8270.JPGThis is probably my fifth or sixth Badger Days trip and I still can't get over how cool it is. This year there are a couple new wrinkles. Student-athletes are making a couple of trips and Blake Geoffrion (with his Hobey Baker Trophy) and J.J. Watt were on the bus with us Tuesday.

Photo Gallery / Badgers Days - Green Bay video

The cheerleaders and Bucky have been mainstays at Badger Days but this year the UW Band will also be in attendance, playing all the fans' favorites. And, for the second straight year, 1999 Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne will join the festivities.

Tuesday's journey took us to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. I was going to do a running diary-style blog but I got an hour in and it was already a couple pages long and I'm sure no one wants to read that much detail. So I'll just hit on some highlights:

Gant and D'Alie are latest UW graduates

Teah Gant and Rae Lin D'Alie became the two most recent UW women's basketball players to receive their degrees when the University of Wisconsin held its spring commencement ceremonies over the weekend.

Earning a degree from the UW is impressive on its own. To do so in four years while not only competing, but starting, for the Badger women's basketball squad warrants extra attention. 

Balanced success

With "March Madness" in full bloom, I thought it would be appropriate to see how the UW athletic department stacks up with other schools around the country in terms of regular-season success.

B_Smith.jpgThere are currently 35 schools that compete at the Division I level in men's basketball, women's basketball and men's hockey. Among those schools are Big Ten members Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State as well as "big-names" such as Notre Dame, Connecticut and Boston College.

Out of those 35 schools, only two qualified teams for the NCAA tournament in all three sports. One, obviously, is the Badgers or I probably wouldn't be writing this. The other is Vermont who, coincidently, was paired up against UW in the first round of both the women's basketball and men's hockey tournaments (the Badger men's hockey team will look for revenge for the loss Vermont hung on the women's hoops team).

It is just the second time in school history all three Badger teams advanced to the NCAA tournament. The only other time was in 2001 when UW was a No. 6 seed in men's basketball, a No. 7 seed in women's basketball and a No. 4 seed in men's hockey. This year, men's hoops was a No. 4 seed, women's hoops a No. 7 and men's hockey a No. 1.

Practice, press and pasta

The Badgers' bus pulled out of Madison on Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. CT. The travel party got a slightly later start than planned after remaining in Madison until the conclusion of the UW men's basketball game against Wofford in the opening round of their NCAA tournament. Fortunately, the Badgers pulled off the "W" in the nail-biter, advancing to face Cornell in the second round.


Lessons from the master


Live NCAA Selection Show Blog

Please join Mandy Hansen of the Wisconsin Athletic Communications Office as she chronicles all of the action from tonight's NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Selection Show. The 64-teams that will compete in the 2010 NCAA Tournament will be announced live at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

This is a job for Superman!

Figuring out whether the University of Wisconsin women's basketball team is in the NCAA tournament has been like walking around like a chicken with its head cut off. The bracketologists all say that the Badgers are in and could be seeded as high as eighth. But those people who have inside connections to the NCAA selection committee say that the UW is still on the bubble and a lot will depend upon how the remaining conference tournaments play out. If the favorites win, the Badgers are in. If there are too many upsets, Wisconsin could drop out of the bracket. Many conference tournaments run right up until Sunday so the Badgers could be hanging by a thread until Monday's selection show.