November 23, 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

Shining Moments in Badger History: contribution to the “Miracle on Ice”

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It’s known as the Miracle on Ice. It was on February 22, during the medal round of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Team USA skated onto the ice against Russia, who had won gold medals in six of the seven previous Olympics and was heavily favored to take home another. The young USA squad included Badgers Bob Suter and Mark Johnson.

“If you look at the story and setup of the game and what we were up against, it’s the ultimate David and Goliath situation,” said Johnson. “We trained very hard to put ourselves in a position to have success there, and now it was just a matter of executing.”

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Down 3-2 in the third Mark Johnson and Mike Eruzione both scored to give Team USA the 4-3 lead, enough to seal the win and stun the world.  In what then was a round robin style of play, Team USA went on to beat Finland to secure the gold medal. Russia won silver by defeating Sweden.

Johnson says, “One of the things it was able to do was show the world that Americans can play at this level.”

The game is widely regarded as one of the greatest sports moments of the 20th century.

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Shining Moments in Badger History is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
Shining Moments radio feature for 02-17-14 Miracle on Ice

Shining Moments in Badger History: 1983 Badgers beat North Dakota in 3 overtimes

83 Hockey

In the semifinals of the 1983 WCHA Playoffs, Wisconsin faced North Dakota in Fargo. Badger center John Johannson says it was a matchup he’ll never forget.

“They had tremendous players. We had tremendous players. And it was about impossible to beat them in Grand Forcks at their arena.”

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Neither team scored until the third period when North Dakota jumped to a quick two to nothing lead. Chris Chelios would tie the game, sending it to the first of what would eventually be three overtimes.

“It’s overtime, we win the draw to the boards.  He takes it goes around a guy, goes around Jon Casey, tucks it in. I mean it was very good hockey.”

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Three weeks later, Wisconsin went on to the win the NCAA Frozen Four.

Shining Moments in Badger History is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
Shining Moments Radio Feature 02-10-14 Badgers go into triple overtime against North Dakota

Shining Moments in Badger History: Badgers become number one for the first time in school history

Alando Tucker

In February 2007, the Badger basketball team accomplished something no other lineup in school history had been able to do. They were ranked number one in the nation.  Coach Bo Ryan gave all the credit to his scribe.

“I’m proud of the kids, proud of the players for what they’ve done. For them, that’s a heck of a statement.”

But Coach Ryan warned his team being number on has its drawbacks saying, “You think people got ready for you when you were number two, three or four? Now watch.”

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The number one ranking was just one of many accomplishments for the Badgers that season. They ended the year with a school record 30 wins, 13 Big Ten victories and Alando Tucker breaking the Badgers’ single season and career scoring record.

Tucker said, “I’m so proud of everything we’ve done, as a group, as a unit. It’s a honor to be a part of this group that has achieved, you know, what we’ve achieved.”

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After holding a place in the top ten for 17 weeks that year, the Badgers made it to the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 seed, the highest in school history.

Shining Moments in Badger History is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
Shining Moments radio feature for 02-03-14 Badgers ranked number one

Shining Moments in Badger History: OSU take down #2

Jordan Taylor

February 12, 2011. It’s something special when history repeats itself.  In 1962 the Badgers took down number one Ohio State. The victory became Wisconsin’s only win over the top ranked basketball team in school history. That is, until 2011 when once again the number one ranked Buckeyes strutted into Madison. Wisconsin took a strong lead but was down 15 early in the second half. That’s when Jordan Taylor took over scoring 27 in the game.  Taylor led the Badgers to a 71-67 victory.

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Coach Bo Ryan wasn’t surprised, saying, “I just felt that Ohio State had done so many good things in a row that maybe we could have our run too. Jordan Taylor just uplifted the whole team. Then once the fans got going it was what we needed.”

The Badgers were one of only two teams that year to knock off the number one opponent in both football and basketball in the same year.

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Shining Moments in Badger History is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.
Shining Moments radio feature for 01-27-14 Badgers take down #1 OSU for second time in history