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B5Q’s 2018 Year in Review

It was the okay-est of times, it was the worst of times

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s over. It’s finally over. Thank goodness.

2018 is drawing to a close, and you may have picked up by now that I love a good reflection. But honestly, this was painful. I had a lot of hope going into 2018 for Wisconsin athletics, and barely anything came true.

Well, let’s take a look back at the best and worst moments for the Badgers in 2018. We will also catalog my favorite post from every B5Q writer this year and make a brief wish list for 2019.

Top 5 moments

No. 5: Women’s hockey beats Minnesota in NCAA quarterfinals at LaBahn Arena

Wisconsin got a bit of a short stick in drawing Minnesota in the quarterfinals, but the Badgers put a whooping on the Gophers at LaBahn Arena. The crowd was wild and sent the Badgers to the Frozen Four with the hopes of a national title.

No. 4: Wisconsin beats No. 6 Purdue on Frank Kaminsky night

This game is what I love about sports. Yes, Wisconsin had a record-bad year in men’s basketball, but who doesn’t love a court-storming win? Nice to look back and see some positives.

No. 3: Morgan McDonald national championship

The NCAA cross country championships were held in Madison this year, and Morgan McDonald took home the national title in front of hundreds of Badger fans.

No. 2: 2019 Early Signing Period

Before writing with B5Q, I was never all that interested in National Signing Day. Since joining the staff and being a part of a couple of signing days, I have learned it is a lot of work and coordination behind the scenes to produce the content you see on this site. That type of camaraderie and team effort among our staff makes B5Q the place to catch National Signing Day coverage (at least in my opinion). Of course, this Early Signing Period for NSD was excellent for Wisconsin, and it is nice to see some football optimism in spite of five losses this season.

No. 1: Wisconsin’s triple-overtime comeback win against Purdue

2018 was a down year for football and men’s basketball, but both had a silver lining in the form of memorable games against Purdue. Jonathan Taylor went off for 300+ yards and was unstoppable down the stretch en route to a 47–44 triple-overtime win.

Worst 5 moments

No. 5: Men’s hockey disappoints again

Whelp, men’s hockey struggled down the stretch, finishing well below .500 and not coming close to earning a spot in the NCAA tournament.

No. 4: Women’s hockey national championship drought continues

The women’s hockey team is almost a perennial lock to make the Frozen Four, but it has not won a national title since 2011. 2018 saw the Badgers get close again, but they lost in another semifinal heartbreak to Clarkson in double overtime.

No. 3.: Missing NCAA men’s basketball tournament for the first time in 20 years

Death, taxes, and Wisconsin making the big dance ... until 2018. Does this mean I don’t have to pay taxes?

No. 2.: Minnesota takes back the axe

I don’t even...

No. 1: Quintez Cephus charged with sexual assault

On Aug. 18, Cephus released this statement on Twitter addressing the coming charges and his leave of absence from the football team:

Two days later, the Wisconsin wide receiver was charged with second and third-degree sexual assault. According to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access, the jury will be selected the morning of Feb. 11 with the trial continuing in the afternoon and the following days.

Best of B5Q

So, Wisconsin athletics did not give us a banner year, but B5Q was there to help along the way. Here are my favorite posts from each B5Q author in no particular order that helped us salvage 2018.

Tyler had a great year with his picks, and he nailed both bets for the Pinstripe Bowl. I’m not a gambler, but if I were, I would copy and paste Tyler’s picks next year.

All of Drew’s “Roasts” are award-worthy, but this one was my personal favorite from the year.

Jake spent a ton of time making this article the best it could be; he put in a massive amount of effort in interviews and editing. After writing a profile of my own, I learned how much work this was the hard way.

I think Owen really shines in this post. I learned more about football than I care to admit from this one.

My 2019 Badger Wish List

Before I say a gleeful final goodbye to 2018, here is my wish list for 2019. Obviously I could say that I want every Badger team to win a natty, but here is what I need to consider 2019 100 percent successful:

  • Men’s hockey sneaks into the NCAA tournament
  • Women’s hockey ends the national championship drought
  • Men’s basketball returns to the NCAA tournament and makes it to the Sweet 16
  • Women’s basketball makes the NIT (or better)
  • Football wins the Big Ten West division and does not face Ohio State in the conference championship game
  • Volleyball makes the Final Four