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Friday, March 21, 5:30 p.m.
Everyone bused over to the arena this afternoon for the media time and practice (a couple new photos attached below). The scout team is wearing purple jerseys to represent Kansas State and Keaton Nankivil is playing as K-State’s freshman phenom Michael Beasly at practice. Practice is closed to all media and fans today, unlike Tuesday’s practice when there were probably 500+ people watching the Badgers run the court.
Like I said earlier, after practice the guys will spend the night with their feet up in the hotel and maybe visit with their families a little (a lot of the parents are staying at the team hotel). I talked to Joe’s dad and brother a little bit today as they returned from grabbing some lunch and watching the morning games at a nearby establishment. Mr. Butch (Brian’s dad) has been around all week, supporting his son, the Badgers and watching as much of the other basketball games as possible.
This morning the Stiemsmas were all headed out to brunch together (Rick and Sharry, sister Erin and her boyfriend John and Greg), while the Leuer’s made the trip, including Jon’s sister, Katie, who attends St. Thomas in Minneapolis.
It doesn’t get mentioned much, if at all, but the parents and other family members of these guys sure commit a lot of time, money and energy traveling the county to watch their sons play. They deserve a big THANK YOU from the team and all the rest of the Badger faithful.
Well that’s it for today, check back tomorrow for live action as the Badgers take on the Kansas State Wildcats for the chance to play in the Sweet 16 in Detroit next weekend.
Friday March 21, 1:20 p.m.
What an exciting game last night, click here to read all about it. The Badgers have one win of the six it takes to be the NCAA National Champion. Kansas State is up next and after an impressive win over USC last night, the Badgers and Wildcats should make an interesting game.
After a late night, myself and a few other staff members had a meeting today to make sure everything was in line for Saturday’s games and all the teams got shoot around time at some points.
Yesterday’s Courtside Blog can be found here and post-game interviews from last night’s game can be seen here.
The guys have a lunch a little later on then head over to the Qwest Center for 30 minutes of media availability before a practice at the arena. Assistant coach Howard Moore has been going through film on Kansas State all week and will go over a lot of their tendencies and plays today at practice. Tonight, the payers have dinner after practice and then will be relaxing in the hotel, resting their legs in order to be 100% come game time tomorrow.
Check back later for some photos from today’s interviews and shoot around.
Thursday, March 20, 11:30 a.m.
Time to get ready to play. The Badgers had a short shoot around this morning at the Qwest Center before the games got underway followed by a hearty breakfast to energize their bodies for the game tonight.
The guys have a lot of down time today, which will be spent sleeping a little and watching all the other games on TV. I’m sure the entire team will be checking out the Kansas/Portland State game to see the top-seeded Jayhawks play as the two teams (Wisconsin and Kansas have a shot to meet each other in the regional final).
The team will have a meal later on today and a short scouting report before heading over to the Qwest Center around 7 p.m.
Yesterday all the teams had some media availability and practice time on the court. Check out the video from the shoot around here. Click here for Wisconsin’s player interviews and here for Cal State Fullerton.
Check back in tonight as the teams preps for tipoff.
Wednesday, March 19, 5:30 p.m.
The Badgers had most of the day to relax, with wake up calls at 9:30 a.m. and breakfast at 10 a.m. Some players walked around parts of Omaha, while other laid in the hotel and slept. Head coach Bo Ryan and some of the support staff had meetings this afternoon in order for everyone to be aware of all the procedures and security issues for Thursday’s events.
Check out some photos from the press conference and the shoot around at the Qwest Center added to the gallery below.
The team had some media availability this afternoon before they were given 40 minutes to practice and shoot around on the Qwest Center Floor. Fans and media are welcome to attend, so I’d guess there was around 500 folks watching the Badgers on the court. The guys gave the fans a good show, throwing down dunks for about five-straight minutes, rocking the rim to the cheers of the crowd.
After the shoot around, the team will bus over to a local high school to get its actual work in without the media and fans watching. After practice the guys will have a late dinner and have the rest of the night to rest up for Thursday’s game.
Check back Thursday morning for a report from Qwest as some staff will probably check out the Kansas/Portland State game before the Badgers get their shoot-around in sometime during the afternoon. With the late start time (8:40 p.m. CT), the Badgers will have most of the morning off and will get to work a little later in the day.
Tuesday, March 18, 7:00 p.m. CT
Hello Badger fans! The team has just arrived in Omaha, Neb., site of the first two rounds of play in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Check below for some photos from Tuesday’s travel.
The Badgers, coaches and staff left Madison around 3:30 p.m. and arrived about an hour and 20 minutes later in Omaha. The team’s hotel is only three blocks from the Qwest Center, which is set right along the Missouri River. Video of Tuesday's travel here.
With the University of Wisconsin on spring break this week, the team was able to be flexible with its travel, hence the reason we all left Madison not even 48 hours after we had gotten home from the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
The team has a meal tonight and then free time. Wednesday will bring the first round of interviews and shoot around at the Qwest Center. Following that, the Badgers will have their normal practice to prepare for their opening round game against Cal State Fullerton.
Check back on Wednesday for more photos and info from practice as well as the free time of the Badgers.
Be sure to check the men’s basketball section on the audio/video page for more new videos from last week and even more coming soon.