With COVID-19 crushing everyone’s March Madness vibe, we at B5Q crafted our own tournament to determine which basketball player from the past 20 years was the biggest fan favorite.
After a few weeks of voting, two of the top players in program history remain, and will duel for the coveted title of Bucky’s Fan Favorite Tournament Champion according to fan voting.
Those two players were each No. 1 seeds entering the tournament, and were able to maneuver their way through a gauntlet of program defining players on their way to the championship.
You can check out the complete bracket here...Bucky's Fan Favorite Tournament Bracket.pdf.
Devin Harris vs. Alando Tucker!!!!!!!!!!!
The case for Devin Harris:
While Wauwatosa native Devin Harris only spent three seasons at Wisconsin, he was still a part of three championship teams. Harris and the Badgers won the 2002 and 2003 B1G regular season championship, as well as the 2004 B1G Tournament. Harris was the 2004 B1G Player of the Year and a B1G Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was also a Wooden Award All-American that season.
During Harris’ sophomore season, Wisconsin won the B1G title outright, for the first time since 1947. In the title-clinching victory over No. 14 Illinois Harris won the game, hitting a free throw with four-tenths of a second left.
Harris appeared in three NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 as a sophomore, while losing in the second round the other two seasons.
For his career Harris averaged 14.8 points, four rebounds, three assists and shot 45 percent from the field in 96 contests.
During his junior campaign — his final season in Madison — he averaged 19.5 points per game and over four assists per game.
One of the most dynamic playmakers to play for the Badgers, Harris was a pivotal cog in the early years of Bo Ryan’s tenure at Wisconsin. Harris would later go on to have a stellar 15+ season career in the NBA after being taken with the fifth pick in the 2004 draft.
The case for Alando Tucker:
First and foremost, Alando Tucker is Wisconsin’s all-time leading scorer with 2,217 points, in 134 career games. Tucker overtook Michael Finley as the school’s all-time leader as a senior, when he was the B1G Player of the Year and was in the running for multiple national player of the year awards.
Tucker played in four NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Sweet 16 as a freshman and the Elite Eight in his sophomore campaign. As a junior and senior, Tucker led the Wisconsin Badgers in scoring with over 19 points per game, and also led the conference in in two-point field goal makes as well as total points.
Tucker joined the UW coaching staff this past season, following Howard Moore’s tragic accident which left an opening on the staff. Prior to joining the staff, Tucker served as UW’s Director of Student-Athlete Engagement since February of 2018. He worked with incoming student-athletes and their families to enhance how they acclimate to life at UW and in the community, in addition to sharing information about and using UW resources.
For his career Tucker averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 48 percent from the field in 134 games.
A prolific dunker with freakish athleticism, Alando Tucker is one of the top overall players to ever play in a Wisconsin uniform. Tucker also probably pulled off the old school baggy UW jersey the best, and it is just a matter of time before his name hangs in the rafters of the Kohl Center.
Drew: So, here we are. After a long and arduous journey starting with 64 basketball players, we now have just two remaining. Alando Tucker and Devin Harris. First of all, thanks for putting this together. It has been fun.
Matt: No problem. I have enjoyed it, and I figured it would be a good waste of time during these crazy COVID times.
Drew: Second of all, why don’t you have the hacking skills to figure out who stuffed the ballot box to make Frank Kaminsky lose in the first round?
Matt: I failed that class in college unfortunately.
Drew: Dammit. Maybe next year we’ll catch the bastard.
Matt: Someone really did not like Frank, that is for sure. Must have dunked on him on middle school.
Drew: Alright, let’s start off the Finals discussion by saying one nice thing about Tucker and Harris each. You start.
Matt: First off...both players played in the age of boxy uniforms, which I love. I currently own a Tucker #42 jersey.
Drew: Do you wear it outside of your house? Because I own a Ricky Davis Cavs jersey that hasn’t seen natural light in over a decade.
Matt: Haha, I think the farthest I have gotten with it on is the mailbox outside. But I also have a Michael Finley Cav’s jersey that hasn’t left the closet in eons.
But Harris was really the first major player that Bo Ryan had. He was just different in a time where the Badgers weren’t pumping out NBA caliber players. He was a complete player, and Wisconsin was lucky he kept his pledge after Bennett hung it up imo.
In terms of Tucker, he was an absolute freak. You don’t just score 20 points in consecutive seasons for no reason. He was so good at getting into the lane and finishing in traffic, and could also punctuate things with a great dunk on occasion. He was extremely fun to watch.
Drew: Shit, the baby is awake. I’ll be back in (hopefully) 10 minutes.
Matt: ::thumbs up emoji::
Drew (one minute later): False alarm! She went back to sleep! I’m voting for her as winner of this tournament.
Matt: She’s the real MVP.
Drew: Harris’ last season at Wisconsin was my freshman year and I don’t think I fully appreciated him. He was great and so different from any other player Wisconsin had on their roster. A buddy of mine, who I sat with in the student section freshman year, went to Wauwatosa East and was the biggest Devin Harris stan. He taught me some Tosa East free throw cheer for Harris that I can no longer remember, but it still made an indelible mark on me.
Matt: Yeah, he was an absolute stud. He just glided on the floor with the ball in his hands in transition. There is a reason he played for so long in the NBA.
Drew: Alando Tucker’s senior season was so much fun. I was in one of my many senior years and Tucker and the basketball team were basically unbeatable.
I remember getting a large empty bracket sponsored by Coors Light or some shit at a bar right before the Tournament and filling it out with funny names for each team and hanging it on the wall of my apartment on Langdon St. My roommates and I thought Wisconsin was going to go so far.
And then they lost to UNLV in the second round.
Matt: Such a buzzkill. Neither of these guys had huge postseason success at UW.
Drew: Hold on, the older daughter needs me now.
Matt: ::presumably getting increasingly annoyed with Drew::
Drew (13 minutes later): OK! After two stories and pretending to be Sven from Frozen we are back, baby!
Matt: Hahaha, you are a reindeer huh?
Drew: I’m just happy she’ll allow me to play. Usually I’m told that it’s “girls only” in her room.
Matt: Exclusive club.
Drew: Anyways, back to Alando. I think, since this is a fan favorite tournament, he should be getting extra points for filling in as assistant coach this year. What do you think?
Matt: I would agree. What he did this year as an assistant coach will only help him in this matchup, and he is a great guy. It was telling when they paid tribute to Moore and he was crying with the family how genuine he is as a person.
Drew: On the other hand, I give Harris extra points for playing in the NBA as long as he did. Such a great feather in the cap for the program when it needed one desperately.
Matt: Yeah him and Finley are by far the most accomplished players professional. Harris having an all-star game appearance is definitely notable. Tucker on the other hand did not have the same career after UW as Harris did.
Drew: Ok...who are you voting for?
Matt: Better yet, if you can’t vote for your daughter, who are YOU going to vote for?
Drew: Shit...I think I have to vote for Tucker.
Matt: What was the final straw for you?
Drew: The dunks. He was a great dunker.
Matt: Yeah. I think I am going to agree with you. He never had the prettiest jumper, but man dude could soar. That picture of him against Kentucky where he appears to be just floating in the air is a thing of beauty.
Drew: That picture makes me not believe in gravity.
Matt: Yea, it’s silly. His head is rim level while rocking some of those old Adidas.
Drew: Well, then it is settled! 2-0, Tucker wins!! No need to even do a poll.
What do y’all think? Are Drew and Matt right or are they a couple of idiots????
(1) Alando Tucker or (1) Devin Harris
This poll is closed
(1) Alando Tucker
(1) Devin Harris