For all Wisconsin fans, a time a big play or game that goes on can be remembered with ease, filled with the recollection of exact emotions and the setting it took place at. This past year's Final Four matchup against Kentucky is no different, but there's more pain and anguish identified with this game for obvious reasons. In the grand scheme, it plays into the three different levels of a Badgers defeat: shock, anger, then a what-the-f*** feeling. Will this feeling have a long-term course with Wisconsin not cutting down the nets since 1941? Will it end next year? The year after? Never? Still, you have to appreciate the ride Bo Ryan and his players took all of us, and Phil documents this beautifully.
The feelings of pain, shock, frustration and anger experienced by fans compares minimally in stature to those felt by the members of the 2013-14 team. In particular, Wisconsin State Journal's Jim Polzin caught up with departing shooting guard Ben Brust, who watched only pre-game clips of he and his teammates joking around at tip-off before darting out of Sam Dekker's apartment in the opening minutes of the 74-73 loss. In my my humble opinion, this is why my respect level for the UW basketball squad was at an all-time high this season, with my respect for the Kentucky Wildcats residing at a basement level. Players from Ryan's squad have no concrete plans in terms of their playing career after their days of sporting the red and white uniform are over, leaving longer time to sulk in the beast of defeat. For Julius Randle and the other soon-to-be NBA'ers for the Wildcats, there was no college experience; rather, it was an extension of their AAU playing days.
I went through my everyday -- I mean, morning -- ritual of scrolling down my Twitter timeline Wednesday. Struck with the daily headlines of what was going on, I stumbled upon a tweet that came from 247 Sports' Evan Flood's, quoting incoming wide receiver George Rushing on playing with quarterback D.J. Gillins.
#Badgers signee George Rushing @GR_CloudChaser1 on playing with D.J. Gillins @BlessedWhereIAm : "I feel like we can break some records."— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) April 16, 2014
I was peeved; that wasn't the demeanor that Wisconsin football players were suppose to display, but my frustration was dramatically subdued when I read the story by ESPN.com Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg on Melvin Gordon. The Kenosha Bradford product could have easily proclaimed the reason behind returning for another season in Madison centering around himself; he definitely has the right based on his skill set. Yet, he came back to vault the Badgers to national contenders and improve his skill set not for the NFL, but for the team.
Detroit Free Press Michigan football writer Mark Snyder gathered an interesting quote, re: spring games, from head coach Brady Hoke in which he is open to the idea of scrimmaging other Big Ten opponents. Hoke simply said, "I think it improves your football team." I really like this idea. Wisconsin's spring game reported a disappointing attendance of roughly 8,000 fans largely due to the fact that no one with any sort of legitimate playing status was present on the field. If the Badgers were to play against another team for a new version of the spring game, noteworthy players would definitely still be sidelined for injury prevention or rehab, but it would be a fresh change of scenery for underclassmen, particularly early enrollees, after beating up on their own teammates for six weeks. Plus, if the student section was actually present (which I think it would be if the opponent was somewhat borderline), a utility could be retrieved from "Jump Around," rather than Saturday's display of it.
From yesterday's Badger Bits, the evidence is in writing that I called Wisconsin offensive linemen having a field day with the insertion of unlimited meals by the NCAA. Sports Illustrated college football writer Andy Staples went one step further, outlining the Madison eatery establishments where the unlimited meals would be at a premium.
J.J. Watt is a saint and an unbelievable human being.
Who wants to shoot the 'ish with Watt over some Pabst Blue Ribbons? Hopefully everyone.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun and National Football Post, former safety Dezman Southward visited with the Washington Redskins this week after previously working out for the New England Patriots.
Per a school release, women's basketball head coach Bobbie Kelsey added the team's third recruit for the class of 2014 in East Des Moines guard Roichelle Marble. She is the brother of former Iowa Hawkeyes standout, Roy Marble.
On the prospective of Marble becoming a Badger, Kelsey said: "I have no doubt that Roichelle will make an immediate impact on the court next season for us. She is extremely excited to come to Wisconsin and we are very happy to have her as a Badger."