As The Don of Wisconsin sports, I feel like it’s the perfect time to give everyone my resolutions for the Wisconsin Badgers in 2024. While some of these are relatively mundane, thinking big is my calling card so others are a symptom of the high bar I have for this department. If you think I missed anything, hook us up in the comments (but I probably didn’t).
10. Wisconsin Women’s Basketball finishes in the upper half of the Big Ten. There have been early signs of improvement for Coach Moseley’s squad, but turning that momentum into results will be the next step. A Top 7 conference finish will be a good sign that things are headed in the right direction.
9. Wisconsin Football lands an impact WR, DT, and OL in the portal. These are all still huge positions of need for the Badgers and Luke Fickell badly needs to add to these rooms heading into spring ball.
8. Wisconsin Women’s Hockey wins another natty. Badger fans need to be careful not to take Mark Johnson’s incredibly talented squad for granted. While last year’s NCAA title was a bit of a surprise, this year’s team is set up for a repeat.
7. Wisconsin Wrestling finishes in the Top 6 of the Big Ten. While it’s easily the most stacked wrestling conference in the country, Coach Bono still wants to better last year’s disappointing 13th-place Big Ten finish. Topping Iowa and Penn State is nearly impossible, but this squad can win a lot of meets against other teams. Don’t bet against them after an impressive 2nd place finish in the Midlands.
6. Wisconsin Basketball signs a 4-star Wisconsin High School player. Greg Gard put together another solid class in 2023 (100% Minnesota players), but notably missed out on Badger state prepster Kon Knueppel, extending Greg Gard’s unfortunate streak of whiffing on Wisconsin’s top high school players. That needs to stop with the 2025 class and its stalwarts Xzavion Mitchell and Kai Rogers.
5. Wisconsin Men’s Hockey wins a Big Ten title. The first half of the season for Mike Hastings and his skaters was dreamlike, and now the lads need to continue the momentum and turn it into a conference title in a stacked Big Ten. Don’t bet against them. (A Frozen Four is also a real possibility, but I’ll stop short here of making that a formal resolution.)
4. Wisconsin Basketball finishes Top 2 in the Big Ten. I’ve been very bullish on this team from the jump. While there are several x-factors (like injuries) that could derail this team from hitting its ceiling, I think outside of Purdue, the Badgers are as good a bet as any to finish at or near the top of the Big Ten.
3. Wisconsin Football finishes Top 4 in the Big Ten: I flirted with the idea of making this a CFB Playoff spot, but the hellish 2024 schedule coupled with the work-in-progress nature of the team stopped me short. But, if Fickell’s guys can end up Top 4 in an absolutely loaded conference it would be a massive win for the program, both for now and going forward.
2. Wisconsin Volleyball wins a National Title: 2023 ended with a sick thud at the hands of the Texas Longhorns in the Final Four, but Kelly Sheffield will be returning a super talented and experienced team in 2024. That includes 2023 National Player of the Year Sarah Franklin, along with several outstanding newcomers and two of my favorite podcast guests. There’s no reason to believe the Badgers won’t be right back in the thick of things in a year to take home the school’s second National Championship.
1. Wisconsin Basketball makes at least the Sweet 16: While I’ve been a relative Greg Gard defender, I’m going to be blunt here: anything short of the Sweet 16 this season will be a disappointment. Gard has put together a really strong, experienced group this season, led by Chucky Hepburn and transfer A.J. Storr, and it appears the squad has what it takes for a real run in March if they stay healthy. If things shake out right, it’s not difficult to imagine the Elite Eight as a possibility.