BADGERS GATHER IN NAPLES
Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, his predecessor Pat Richter and current head football coach Bret Bielema will all be in Naples, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 17, for the 29th Annual Badger Day event at the Grey Oaks Country Club. Bielema and Alvarez will both speak about UW Athletics and the football program in particular. They will also take and answer questions. A crowd of close to 300 people is expected. Longtime Wisconsin supporters Julius Marks and Danny Tzakis are co-organizing the event.
ICE RACES HEAT UP
This weekend will be huge for both Badger hockey programs. The men’s team hosts Denver, which currently sits a point ahead of Wisconsin in the WCHA standings with three weekends left in the regular season. The Badgers are looking for their first MacNaughton Cup since 2000. The UW women’s team, which hosts Bemidji State this weekend, trails Minnesota by a point in the standings heading into this final weekend of the regular season.
Tickets are still available for the Friday night men’s game and a limited number of tickets are available for Saturday night men’s contest.
Women's hockey tickets for the WCHA first round went on sale this morning at 8:30. Only 500 tickets are available for each game since they will be held at the Eagle's Nest in Verona. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Only Friday and Saturday night tickets are on sale right now. If tickets are needed for Sunday, they will go on sale after Saturday night's game.
WE’VE COME A LONG WAY
What a great day we had for the men’s basketball program at the Kohl Center this past Saturday. The eyes of the college basketball world were focused on Madison as ESPN’s College Gameday show came to town, featuring Bob Knight, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Rece Davis. We had about 2,500 people in attendance for the show. Coach Ryan’s team then put on a show of its own that night, grinding out a tense 55-50 decision over Ohio State.
If you missed it, or want to relived the color and costumes, check out the GameDay Blog, photo gallery and video highlights of the day.
I can remember when I first came to Wisconsin and worked with the men’s hoops program, which was under the direction of Stan Van Gundy and then Dick Bennett. Those teams of the mid-to-late 1990s were just starting to help Wisconsin gain a national reputation in men’s basketball. Back then we would have done anything for the kind of exposure the program got on Saturday. Coach Ryan has certainly guided the program to another level and Saturday was just another example of that.
Both the women’s and men’s tennis teams have big home matches this week. The women’s team hosts Marquette in a 5 p.m. match on Wednesday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The 43rd-ranked men’s team then plays host to No. 21 Wake Forest on Sunday at noon.