The Wisconsin Badgers received their Final Four rings this week after reaching college basketball’s signature event for the first time since 2000 and just the third time in school history.
The Badgers finished 30-8 in what was a strange year. Wisconsin opened the season with 16 straight wins and ascended as high as No. 3 in the Associated Press poll before dropping three straight and five of six and falling out of the rankings just three weeks later.
The Badgers wound up tied for second with Michigan State in the Big Ten race at 12-6, three games behind Michigan.
Wisconsin fell to the Spartans in the Big Ten tournament semifinals and went into the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 seed in the West Regional, but got to play their first two games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
And then the Badgers went on a run, pummeling American 75-35 in the second round and getting past Oregon 85-77 to reach the Sweet 16.
Wisconsin drubbed Baylor in the regional semifinals in Anaheim, Calif., 69-52 and just did survive a 64-63 victory over top-seeded Arizona in the regional final.
At the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, the Badgers fell in a 74-73 heartbreaker to Kentucky in the national semifinals.
The players were understandably thrilled to see the jewelry:
But, as Josh Gasser said on Twitter, the Badgers are looking for more in 2014-15:
— Josh Gasser (@JPGasser21) July 28, 2014
The Badgers haven’t finalized their 2014-15 schedule yet, but will play the annual Red/White scrimmage at the Kohl Center on Oct. 26.