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
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.
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.
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.
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
Whelp, men’s hockey struggled down the stretch, finishing well below .500 and not coming close to earning a spot in the NCAA tournament.
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.
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...
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.
- 2018 Pinstripe Bowl betting preview by Tyler Hunt
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.
- Previewing Wisconsin’s bigs entering the 2018–19 season by Kevin O’Connell
- How to “survive” a Wisconsin decommitment by Andrew Rosin
- Catching up with Madison Packer by Jon Beidelschies
- Report: UW’s relationship with Papa John’s “unchanged at the moment” by Mike Fiammetta
- The B1G Roast: We Back by Drew Hamm
All of Drew’s “Roasts” are award-worthy, but this one was my personal favorite from the year.
- Wisconsin needs more consistency around Ethan Happ, Brad Davison by Ryan Mellenthin
- Examining the expectations for Graham Mertz entering his first season at Wisconsin by Jake Kocorowski
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.
- Film Room: Wisconsin’s highs and lows vs. Michigan by Owen Riese
I think Owen really shines in this post. I learned more about football than I care to admit from this one.
- Former Wisconsin RB Anthony Davis’s perspective fuels success by Bob Wiedenhoeft
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