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Five Badgers receive All-Big Ten honors

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Some fitting accolades for Wisconsin’s leaders.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers finished the 2016-17 season in the top four of the Big Ten for the 16th straight season and will be the second seed in this week’s Big Ten tournament, facing the winner of Iowa and Indiana on Friday.

Prior to embarking for Washington D.C., several Badgers learned that they earned post-season honors from the Big Ten on Monday.

Leading the way was sophomore Ethan Happ, who garnered first-team All-Big Ten honors. Happ is just the second UW sophomore to earn first-team honors after Michael Finley in 1993. Happ earned the honor while leading the Badgers in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks during conference play.

Happ also earned All-Defensive Team honors for the second straight season, joining Michael Flowers and Josh Gasser as the only Badgers to earn all-defensive honors in multiple seasons.

Joining Happ on the all-defensive team was senior Zak Showalter, who finished tied for fifth in the conference in steals per game with 1.4. This was Showalter’s first All-Defensive Team honor; he was an All-Academic honoree last season.

Senior Vitto Brown was recognized with a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the second season in a row. One player from each team takes home the honor following each season.

Bronson Koenig earned all-conference honors for the second straight season, improving from third-team a season ago. Koenig’s second-team honor was awarded by the coaches, while the media tabbed him for the third team.

Arguably one of Wisconsin’s most decorated Big Ten athletes, Nigel Hayes—the Big Ten preseason player of the year—finished the 2016-17 season on the all-conference third team. Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan took home Player of the Year honors.

Hayes was the 2014 sixth-man of the year while joining the all-freshman team. He then finished on the third team after his sophomore season and finished last season with first-team honors.