April 24, 2013
Watch the 2013 NCAA Tournament Reception
MADISON, Wis. -- On a typical day at the office I'll listen to Pandora or sports talk when I'm at my desk - it keeps me fueled throughout the morning and afternoon and also helps to make the time pass.
On this particular day a couple of weeks ago, I was listening to the radio and a certain tune came on that I knew I'd heard before but wasn't sure who sang it or even why I remembered it.
So as the melody continued and the lyrics looped in it hit me...it was Ke$ha. The same Ke$ha song that the guys blared over the locker room speakers after upsetting third-ranked Michigan and the same Ke$ha song that became a pre-game warm-up tradition.
I started envisioning the scene and how the student section would join in as the guys would clap in unison to the chorus.
(I'm not going to sing for you guys so I hope you all have good memories and know what song I'm talking about).
I have a feeling it may make an appearance in the season highlight video.
Most of the guys will tell you I don't have much rhythm but as I was thinking of this I started bouncing a little bit at my desk and quietly tapping my hand on the table top. Didn't really realize I was doing it until midway through the song but that brief moment allowed me to reflect on all of highs we saw this season.
|Celebrating the Season
Watch the archived video of the 2013 Wisconsin Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament Reception, featuring an introduction of the Badgers, thoughts from Matt Lepay, Jeremy Wodajo and a season wrap-up from head coach Bo Ryan, as well as the team's season highlight video. | Watch the Reception
As I continued my semi-quiet, one-man celebration in my office (and stared out the door hoping that no one would walk by and judge me), the lyrics put me in a trance and I began to think about how much the Badgers did make the most of the night -- as Kesha says in the song -- on multiple occasions this season.
Now that we're a few weeks removed from the NCAA tournament and the wound has healed from that last game, it gives us all a chance to take a step back and come to the realization that the 2012-13 season was just as memorable, if not more memorable, than past season's....and here's why:
This was another year where I found an article referring to the Badgers as boring... but you know what this particular writer was calling boring? Wisconsin's numbingly consistent success. Another 20-win season and yet another trip to the NCAA tournament sure was boring.
Wisconsin won 23 games in 2012-13, the 9th highest win total in school history. Bo Ryan has been at the helm of each of the top 9 winningest seasons in UW history.
The Badgers tallied 12 double-doubles this season, the highest total by any team during Bo Ryan's 12-year tenure. The 12 double-doubles included a team-high five double-doubles by 6-foot-1 guard Ben Brust, or as some like to call him Ben-nis Rodman.
This season, UW played 13 games against the Associated Press' Top-15 and earned a school-record four top-10 victories in 2012-13.
The Badgers 64-59 win at No. 2 Indiana on Jan. 15 represented the school's first road win ever over a team ranked in the top 3 of the AP poll.
UW has now beaten Indiana 12 consecutive times, the longest win streak of any opponent against the Hoosiers since the Badgers had an 11-game win streak vs. IU which lasted from 1912-19.
For the seventh time in the last 13 years, the Badgers competed against a team that appeared in the NCAA championship, but for the first time in program history, UW finished the season with two or more wins against a team in the title game, going 2-0 against Michigan this season.
Wisconsin also now has a new leader in career games played. I know he's a Phoenix guy but Ryan Evans pulled a Brett Favre, playing in all 138 career games over his four-year career. The previous UW record was 136 held by Jordan Taylor and Joe Krabbenhoft.
Jared Berggren also left his mark on the UW record books as he crushed Rashard Griffith's career blocks record, finishing with 144, while also rewriting the record book for single-season blocks, as he finished the year with 73.
To be fair, Griffith only played two years at Wisconsin...so let's try and take a look at Jared's two-year total just for fun. Jared had 60 swats his junior year. I'm not the best at math so give me a second 60 plus 73...carry the one. Still beat it...by nine blocks.
Bo Ryan earned his third Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 2012-13. Only Gene Keady and Bob Knight have won the honor more times than Ryan.
Wisconsin played 3 top-10 teams in 3 days at the Big Ten tournament, making their first appearance in the championship game in eight years and coming up just short of winning the team's third conference tournament crown.
The Badgers have had 20 buzzer-beaters in school history with two occurring this season as Ben Brust's half-court buzzer beater led to a win over the Wolverines back in early February. A month later, Trae Jackson's 25-footer sent the Badgers home with a win in their regular-season finale at Penn State.
For the first time in program history a Badgers player wore goggles and a headband in an actual game. It was short-lived but sophomore Frank Kaminsky channeled his inner Horace Grant and sported the combo this season.
A pair of freshmen cracked the starting rotation for UW, a rare occurrence during the Bo Ryan era. Redshirt-freshman George Marshall became just the second UW freshman to start the season opener under Ryan, while Sam Dekker became just the fourth freshman to also start during that 12-year span.
While the final game was no indication, this team was a pretty good shooting squad from beyond the arc. Three Badgers finished in the top-15 in the Big Ten in 3-point field-goal percentage as the team finished with 259 made 3-pointers, the third-highest mark in UW history.
During conference play, the Badgers swept the defensive stats, leading the league in scoring defense, FG% defense, 3-point FG% defense and defensive rebounding percentage.
Finally, it's never too early for projections, or at least I don't think it is! We are just 307 days away from selection Sunday, but that doesn't stop ESPN's Joe Lunardi from projecting the 2014 NCAA Tournament field. Lunardi is picking the Badgers to make their 16th-straight appearance in the Big Dance and earn a No. 5 seed.
In case anyone wants to start looking at flights, Lunardi has us playing in San Diego during the first week of the tournament, so in other words....another boring season of Wisconsin basketball.
UW Athletic Communications