July 31, 2014

Shining Moments in Badger History: Win against Purdue to make Final Four

Badgers win over Purdue

March Madness 2000, eighth seeded Wisconsin had already gone through Fresno State, upset first seed Arizona, and knocked off LSU to enter a matchup with conference rival Purdue in the Elite Eight. The Badgers had already beaten the Boilermakers twice in regular season play. Mike Kelley was a guard for the Badgers and knew his team had what it took to pull out a third win and reach the Final Four, a feat they hadn’t done in nearly six decades.

“We were very much a team that relied on everybody to play their role and play together and I think that’s why we were able to sneak up on people.”

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After only a sixth place finish in the Big Ten that year, the Badgers surprised a lot of people. In fact, 40,000 fans watched as Kelley made two free throws in the final 10.6 seconds to beat Purdue 64-60 and advance. That was only the second time in school history Wisconsin made it to the Final Four.

Kelley recalls, “It was a very emotional locker room. There were some tears. You realize this is a part of something special.”

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Shining Moments in Badger History is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
Shining Moments radio feature for February 24, 2014 – Badgers beat Purdue to go to Final Four