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|| Saturday, April 5
Finally, game day has arrived at the Final Four. The preparations are complete and all that's left for the Badgers is to take the floor at AT&T Stadium at approximately 7:49 p.m. for a national semifinal clash with Kentucky. The winner will be just one step away from a national championship.
• Watch Live | March Madness App | Listen Live | GameTracker | @BadgerMBB | Gameday Live
Who is the Badgers' X-factor for their matchup with Kentucky? Well, first of all, what's an X-factor? Mike Lucas talked with some of the biggest voices in basketball to get their take on who -- and what -- can make the difference for Wisconsin against the Wildcats.
• Lucas: What is Wisconsin's X-factor? Depends on who you ask
Before the take their seats courtside to call the Badgers' first Final Four game since 2000, Mike Lucas and Matt Lepay take a few minutes to give their take on the keys for Wisconsin in a special Final Four edition of "Badger Breakdown."
• Badger Breakdown: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
|| Friday, April 4
The Badgers were back on the floor at AT&T Stadium on Friday for their open practice session in front of a crowd that included quite a bit of red. Members of the team also met the media for a final time before Saturday's national semifinal showdown. But most importanly, Friday mean the release of the latest (and greatest?) episode of "Hayes for Days" with Nigel Burgundy (see above).
• Hayes for Days: Final Four Edition | Photos: Open Practice
|| Thursday, April 3
The Badgers got their first look at AT&T Stadium on Thursday for a closed practice session after taking part in a number of photo and video shoots in preparation for Saturday's national semifinal. From there, the team headed to downtown Dallas to take in Bracket Town and the NCAA Salute program emceed by CBS Sports' Jim Nantz -- and featuring a special guest in former President George W. Bush.
• Photos: Day 1 in Dallas | Bohannon Meets President Bush
Head coach Bo Ryan also joined Kentucky's John Calipari on the podium for a news conference Thursdasy, while senior Ben Brust represented the Badgers to the media.
"It would be so exciting if we were to be the last team standing," Ryan said when asked about what a national championship would mean for UW. "I would just stand back and look at those guys and just smile inside and outside."
• Ryan Transcript | Brust Transcript
|| Wednesday, April 2
After squeezing in one final practice in Madison, the Badgers were wheels up for Texas and landed in Dallas to begin their on-site preparations for Saturday's Final Four matchup with Kentucky.
• Channel3000.com: Badgers arrive in Dallas to prepare for Final Four
Remember the Badgers' last dance in the Final Four? Take a look back on the team's unlikely road to Indianapolis with our special retrospective:
• 2000 Final Four Review | Photos: The Badgers' 2000 Final Four Run
|| Tuesday, April 1
Between a hard-fought victory over Arizona in the Elite Eight and sending head coach Bo Ryan to his first Final Four, the Badgers will carry plenty of emotion into their Final Four clash with Kentucky, Mike Lucas writes:
• Lucas: Badgers playing for Bo, Butch and, especially, each other
|| Monday, March 31
As they began their preparation for Kentucky, head coach Bo Ryan, juniors Josh Gasser and Traevon Jackson and sophomore Sam Dekker met with members of the media Monday to talk about the challenges the Wildcats will present in the Final Four.
• Watch News Conference | Transcripts
|| Sunday, March 30
The Badgers touched down in Madison on Sunday afternoon and proceeded directly to the Kohl Center, where they were welcomed by more than 7,000 fans that turned out for a special Final Four celebration.
• Highlights: Final Four Welcome Celebration | Photo Gallery
An all-access look at the Badgers' Final Four-clinching win over Arizona. Trust us, this one's worth reliving.
• Elite Eight All-Access
Help welcome the West Regional champion Badgers back to Madison at a special welcome event at approximately 4 p.m. Sunday at the Kohl Center. Doors for the free event will open at 3 p.m.
• Welcome Home Event (4 p.m., Kohl Center) | Final Four Gear
|| Saturday, March 29
The West is won! In claiming a hard-fought 64-63 overtime victory over No. 1 seed Arizona on Saturday, the Badgers claimed the title of West Regional champions and are moving on to the Final Four:
• The West is won: Badgers claim OT thriller to earn spot in Final Four
• Broadcast Highlights | Locker Room Reaction | Press Conference | Photos | Photos 2
The top two seeds have held their ground and now it's time to see which will move on to the Final Four. UWBadgers.com's Mike Lucas and the Badgers' radio voice, Matt Lepay, take a final look at the Arizona-Wisconsin matchup in the latest edition of "Badger Breakdown."
• Badger Breakdown: Elite Eight vs. Arizona
Even if all the talk among fans and media is about what would come next, the Badgers know the only way to get to the Final Four is to focus on Arizona. "The Elite Eight game could be a trap if you think like that, if you overlook an opponent, especially a good opponent like Arizona," Nigel Hayes said. "If we look ahead, we may end up losing and not get there."
• Mike Lucas: Badgers refuse to take eyes off (tall) task at hand
... and just in case you're concerned about the Badgers' mindset heading into their big matchup with Arizona, fear not. As Nigel "Burgundy" proves in his latest "Hayes for Days" segment, this group is as loose as ever.
• Hayes for Dayes: Elite 8 Edition
Around the Web
• ESPN.com: Rick Riley: Acing the finals
• LA Times: Bo Ryan keeps things simple for Wisconsin
• New York Times: Once a source of entertainment, now a rival coach
• Arizona Republic: Bo Ryan remembers Sean Miller in a Superman cape
• Wall Street Journal: Can Badgers break 'Zona?
• CBSSports.com: Miller vs. Ryan and analytics vs. old school
• Yahoo Sports: Ryan seeks to honor father's memory by taking Wisconsin to Final Four
• Madison.com: Oates: Final Four trip would take on different meaning for Ryan
• Madison.com: Hot offense takes on Arizona's top-ranked defense
• Madison.com: Bo Ryan, Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson share hometown bond
• JSOnline: Players say Bo Ryan is great coach, with our without a Final Four
• JSOnline: Badgers zoned in on Arizona's man-to-man defense
• JSOnline: Bench could swing things in Badgers' favor
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Badgers say Ryan doesn't need validation of a Final Four
|| Friday, March 28
Elite Eight. Yep, sounds just as good this morning as it did last night. Go behind the scenes of the Badgers' 69-52 win over Baylor with "Wisconsin Basketball Sweet 16 All-Access."
• Wisconsin Basketball Sweet 16 All-Access
With 29 wins and their first berth to the Elite Eight since 2005, the Badgers have put together a fantastic season. But by no means are they content with what they've accomplished. Not when they're this close to the Final Four, Mike Lucas writes:
• Badger Rewind: Ever closer to the top, Badgers still far from satisfied
Around the Web
• ESPN.com: Five Things: Wisconsin on to Elite Eight
• ESPN.com: Vitale: Don't overlook Wisconsin
• SI.com: Badgers, all business on court but starstruck off it, move into Elite Eight
• USAToday.com: Why you want to root for Bo Ryan
• USAToday.com: Kaminsky's diverse skillset could be Wisconsin's ticket to Final Four
• Sporting News: Wisconsin's defensive artistry paints Elite (Eight) picture
• CBSSports.com: Kaminsky, Wisconsin get Austin, Baylor backing down, then out
• Yahoo Sports: Wisconsin cheered on by Aaron Rodgers, other high-profile NFLers
• BTN.com: Dienhart: Badgers dominant in win over Baylor
• Denver Post: Bo Ryan knows coaching and lessons of life as Wisconsin boss
• Madison.com: Oates: Win brings back Final Four memories
• Madison.com: Frank Kaminsky serves as major road block for Baylor
• JSOnline: Kaminsky shows fancy footwork in defeat of Baylor
• JSOnline: Ben Brust fulfills tasks assigned to him in win over Baylor
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Wisconsin dominantes with confidence, mental toughness
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Aaron Rodgers' appearance overshadows big win -- almost
|| Thursday, March 27
Never in doubt! Behind 19 points and six blocks from Frank Kaminsky, the Badgers blitzed sixth-seeded Baylor on both ends of the floor Thursday, scoring a 69-52 win over the Bears at Honda Center to advance to their first Elite Eight since 2005. Wisconsin will face the winner of top-seeded Arizona and No. 4 seed San Diego State in the West Regional final on Saturday.
• Play on, Wisconsin: Badgers blitz Baylor, advance to Elite Eight
• Broadcast Highlights | Locker Room Reaction | Press Conference | Photos
Notice anything different about the Badgers this year? They're far from uptight, but this loose group has shown its ability to smile off the court and get serious come game time. So can goofiness lead to greatness? In this week's issue of Varsity, the Badgers themselves say it certainly can't hurt heading into their lastest Sweet 16 matchup.
• Chemistry class: Finding fun (and success) with the Badgers
• Lucas: Mike Kelley says Final Four more doing than dreaming
• Lepay: Badgers able to sit back and enjoy the ride
• Photos: A memorable night in Milwaukee
• Triumphant turnaround: UW advances on late rally
• History: Cinderella Badgers win national championship
In case you needed additional proof that the Badgers are a loose bunch, Nigel Burgandy is back for a third installment of his locker room interview series "Hayes for Days."
• Hayes For Days: Sweet 16 Edition
Around the Web
• ESPN.com: Kaminsky's versatility works well for Badgers
• SI.com: Seth Davis' Sweet 16 picks
• USA Today: Frank Kaminsky provides rare weapon for Wisconsin
• USA Today: 8 bold predictions heading into the Sweet 16
• Madison.com: Much-improved athleticism of UW still elusive to many observers
• Madison.com: Losing has always driven Josh Gasser to win
• Madison.com: Baylor has height in abundance
• JSOnline: Sam Dekker continuing to improve in second season
• JSOnline: Spiraling season tested Baylor's character
• JSOnline: Scott Drew impressed by UW's ability to get out and run
• San Diego Union-Tribune: If you don't know Bo, you should
|| Wednesday, March 26
The Badgers got their first look at the Honda Center on Wednesday, hitting the court for an open practice session after meeting with members of the media to talk about Thursday's regional semifinal showdown with Baylor.
• Blog: Badgers preview Sweet 16 | Press Conference Transcript | Photos: Practice at Honda Center
After taking in both teams' open practice sessions Wednesday, the Wisconsin broadcast team of Mike Lucas and Matt Lepay give their take on the Badgers-Bears matchup in the latest edition of "Badger Breakdown."
The Badgers aren't in Hollywood -- close, Anaheim -- but freshman Jordan Hill has answered the casting call for someone to play dynamic Baylor guard Kenny Chery. The Southern California native is giving his all to playing the role of the opposition for UW's scout team.
• Lucas: SoCal native Hill at home helping Badgers prep for Baylor
Around the Web
• Madison.com: Deception on offense could disrupt Baylor's zone
• Madison.com: Rules changes haven't limited importance of defense
• JSOnline: UW focues on Baylor's zone defense
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Badgers not content with Sweet 16 but focused on moment
• Waco Tribune: After rough stretch, Baylor connecting dots in tournament
• Waco Tribune: Throw out those old myths about Baylor basketball
• Dallas Morning News: Injury hasn't prevented Austing from leading Baylor into Sweet 16
• Dallas Morning News: Steve Kerr sees potential 'slugfest' between Baylor and Wisconsin
|| Tuesday, March 25
The Badgers made their way to California, departing Madison around 9 a.m. Following the almost four-hour plane trip, their first order of business was practice at Cal State Fullerton.
• Blog: Head west, young men!
If you're in Southern California on Wednesday you'll want to head to JT Scmidt's Restaurant and Brewery in Anaheim from 6-8 p.m. for the official Badgers' Sweet 16 Pep Rally. Also, don't forget about UW's open practice from 2:10-3 p.m. at the Honda Center.
• Fan events announced for Sweet 16
Around the Web
• Madison.com: Small but loud crowd, band expected for Badgers in Anaheim
• JSOnline: Traevon Jackson thrives with the game on the line
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Wisconsin knows skilled, athletic Baylor squad awaits in Anaheim
|| Monday, March 24
Facing a quick turnaround, the Badgers' preparation for No. 6 seed Baylor began in earnest when Wisconsin returned to the practice floor at the Kohl Center on Monday afternoon. Head coach Bo Ryan, senior Ben Brust, junior Frank Kaminsky and sophomore Same Dekker also met the media to talk about their Sweet 16 matchup before the team departs for the NCAA West Regional on Tuesday.
• News Conference | Game Notes: NCAA West Regional
Around the Web
• Madison.com: Saturday's gritty win brings regional semifinal game against Baylor
• JSOnline: Wisconsin to meet Baylor in Sweet 16
|| Sunday, March 23
It was a simple question. "How are you going to feel on the bus ride home? Do you want it to be a good feeling?" That's the question junior Frank Kaminsky said head coach Bo Ryan posed to the Badgers at halftime of their third-round matchup with Oregon on Saturday.
Mike Lucas writes that the team's answer was clear, with UW coming out firing and outscoring the Ducks 48-28 in the second half en route to an impressive win and its sixth Sweet 16 bid in the last 12 years.
• Badger Rewind: UW heads home happy after triumphant turnaround
Around the Web
• ESPN.com: Badgers ride emotion into Sweet 16
• SI.com: Wisconsin advances with enthralling comeback victory over Oregon
• USA Today: Wisconsin rallies past Oregon into Sweet 16
• Madison.com: Safe at any speed, UW drives to Sweet 16
• JSOnline: Badgers ride fans' raucous support to victory
• JSOnline: Jackson, Gasser overcome struggles
• JSOnline: Brust's clutch 3-pointer sets UW career record
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Wisconsin responds to coach's simple message, rallies past Oregon
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Brust makes historic 3 at the best possible moment
|| Saturday, March 22
How Sweet it is! For the third time in four years, the Badgers are headed to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament after rallying to top No. 7 seed Oregon 85-77 on Saturday. The Badgers will face the winner of Sunday's matchup between Baylor and Creighton in a West Regional semifinal next Thursday in Anaheim, Calif.
• Glass masters: Big boards help Badgers surge past Ducks, into Sweet 16
• Highlights | Locker Room | Singing 'Varsity' | Press Conference | Photos
Mike Lucas takes a look at the differing styles -- but identical goals -- of Wisconsin and Oregon as the teams prepare to tangle in their third-round game on Saturday.
• Lucas: Badgers and Ducks have contrasting styles, same goals
Around the Web
• ESPN.com: Big Ten defenses will be put to the test
• Madison.com: Oregon poses difficult matchup for UW
• Madison.com: Point guard Traevon Jackson's growth key down the stretch
• Madison.com: Oregon's bench, unlike American's, has plenty in reserve
• JSOnline: Badgers' Ben Brust refuses to call it quits
• JSOnline: Badgers must overcome Ducks' speed, pressure
• JSOnline: Ducks known for shooting skill
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: A load in the paint, Hayes keeps it light off the court
|| Friday, March 21
The Badgers were back at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Friday, returning to the floor for practice as they prepare to take on seventh-seeded Oregon at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. Head coach Bo Ryan and his players also met with members of the media to look ahead at their matchup with the Ducks.
• Photos: Friday Practice | Press Conference Transcript
Perhaps most importantly, freshman Nigel Hayes was back behind the microphone to interview his teammates in the locker room, hitting them with all the pressing questions of the day.
• Hayes Interviews - Take 2
Mike Lucas looks back on the Badgers' dominant win over American in the second round Thursday and how Wisconsin will face a major change of pace when it takes the floor Saturday:
• Badger Rewind: UW's opening statement loud and clear
Around the Web
• Madison.com: Ben Brust's hot shooting sparks offense
• Madison.com: Badgers' low-stress opener good for their confidence
• JSOnline: Nigel Hayes stands tall on defense vs. American
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: As career nears close, senior Brust rains down 3-pointers
|| Thursday, March 20
See you again Saturday, Milwaukee. Behind 18 points from Traevon Jackson, 17 from Ben Brust and 11 more from Sam Dekker, the Badgers blasted American in a 75-35 wiin that has UW advancing to a second game in the NCAA tournament for the 11th time in 13 seasons under Bo Ryan. Wisconsin will face the winner of Oregon and BYU on Saturday.
• Recap | Notes | Highlights | Photo Gallery | Postgame Press Conference | Quotes
In never looking back after putting the pedal down against American, the Badgers did exactly what a No. 2 seed is supposed to do, Mike Lucas writes:
• Lucas' Last Word: Badgers leave no doubt with furious finish
Around the Web
• USA Today: Bo Ryan just wants to give Wisconsin its money's worth
• JSOnline: For Bo Ryan, Final Four won't be the same without his dad
• JSOnline: Badgers' approach takes a turn for the looser
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Badgers' Hill and important understudy heading into NCAAs
|| Wednesday, March 19
With tipoff less than 24 hours away, the Badgers made their way to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for an open practice session and availability with members of the media. Not surprisingly, UW's practice session was well-attended as fans took advantage of their final look at the Badgers before they open tournament play Thursday against American.
• Big crowds meet the Badgers in Milwaukee
• Overheard at Badgers media day
• Video: Badgers wrap practice with half-court shots
• Photos: Open Practice / Press Conferences
In addition to facing questions from the media, the Badgers were subjected to inquiries from one of their own when freshman Nigel Hayes took up the microphone:
Around the Web
• Madison.com: Long-distance dedication finds Brust in sight of career 3-point mark
• JSOnline: Badgers players plan to get back on the attack in NCAA tournament
• JSOnline: Dekker grew up rooting for the NCAA underdogs
• JSOnline: Nigel Hayes -- talented freshman and interviewer extraordinaire
• JSOnline: Milwaukee NCAA regional brimming with rich history
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Badgers look to live up to 2 seed designation
• SI.com: NCAA tournament team previews: Wisconsin
|| Tuesday, March 18
Following practice in Madison, the Badgers hit the road for the short 70-mile trip to Milwaukee Tuesday afternoon. For Wisconsin natives Josh Gasser and Sam Dekker, playing in their home state is particularly special. "My reaction when our name was announced in Milwaukee was genuine," Dekker said. "I was really excited. It's great to be able to play close to home and hopefully we can capitalize on the home crowd."
Around the Web
• Associated Press: Wisconsin coaching tree in full bloom for Ryan
• JSOnline: Gasser's long wait for UW's return to NCAA Tournament is finally over
• Madison.com: American's Princeton-style offense offers intriguing matchup
|| Monday, March 17
The Selection Show was barely in the books before Zach Bohannon gave the Badgers a crash course in the Princeton offense utilized by second-round NCAA opponent American, drawing on his experience running the Princeton while playing at Air Force.
• Mike Lucas: Badgers get jump-start on planning for American's attack
Wednesday will be a day for Badgers fans in Milwaukee, beginning at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and ending at the Milwaukee Theater:
Fan Schedule - Wednesday, March 19
• Noon: American open practice (BMO Harris Bradley Center)
• 1:30 p.m.: Wisconsin open practice (BMO Harris Bradley Center)
• 6 p.m.: Wisconsin NCAA Tournament Pep Rally (Milwaukee Theater)
• More Info: Milwaukee pep rally set for Badgers fans
Around the Web
• Madison.com: Promising NCAA tournament path for Badgers
• JSOnline: ESPN analysts like Badgers' chances for Final Four run
• FoxSportsWisconsin.com: Badgers prepare for NCAA tourney matchup in Milwaukee
|| Sunday, March 16
For the 16th-consecutive season, the Badgers will be dancing in March. Wisconsin was awarded the No. 2 seed in the West Region of the 2014 NCAA Tournament and will face No. 15 seed American in a second-round matchup Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
• Badgers earn No. 2 seed, draw American in NCAA tournament
• Video: Badgers talk NCAA selection at news conference
• Transcript: Ryan, Brust, Gasser speak on Selection Sunday
• Milwaukee pep rally set for Badgers fans
Around the Web
• BTN: Bo Ryan talks Badgers' NCAA tourney bid
• Madison.com: American awaits in NCAA opener on Thursday in Milwaukee
• JSOnline: Big conference basketball coming to Milwaukee
• JSOnline: No. 2 Wisconsin to play No. 15 American in Milwaukee
• ESPN.com: Andy Katz's Selection Sunday winners and losers
• ESPN.com: Checking out all 68 teams: Badgers a 'title threat'