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Painful Badger Sports Moments Show How Close They Are

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Being a Wisconsin Badger fan is great. The Badgers are constantly relevant and near the top of the Big Ten in both basketball and football every single year. It is hard to make the argument against them being the best basketball-football combination school in the country. 

Their consistency is remarkable, and every stat backs that up. But that sort of success comes at a price. And the price for always being in the conversation, for always having big games, is a whole boat load of pain. More pain than probably any other fanbase in the country.

In the last six seasons, Wisconsin Football has only lost 23 games. That is remarkable consistency, as only College Football’s biggest blue bloods have less losses. But what is even more remarkable is the fact that 19 out of those 23 losses have been by only one possession.

In 2010, Wisconsin only suffered two losses. One was a 10-point loss to Michigan State. The other? A nail-biting loss to TCU in the Rose Bowl because of a failed two-point conversion.

In 2011, the Badgers lost three times. The first was on a Hail Mary as time expired against Michigan State. The second was the result of a 40-yard go-ahead touchdown pass with 30 seconds left from Ohio State’s Braxton Miller. The third was yet another heartbreaking Rose Bowl loss, as the clock expired during Russell Wilson’s spike attempt.

Somehow, 2012 wasn’t any less painful. Wisconsin finished a mediocre 8-6, but all six of Wisconsin’s losses were by seven-points or less. Three of them were in overtime. The season ended with a third consecutive Rose Bowl loss, this time by just six points.

The next year, Gary Andersen took over as Head Coach. But despite the new coach, there was the same pain. In just their third game of the season, Wisconsin lost to Arizona State on one of the most baffling plays in College Football History. Two weeks later, Wisconsin took #4 Ohio State to the brink before falling by seven. The Badgers then lost by seven again in their last regular season game to Penn State. The season ended with another heartbreaking bowl loss to South Carolina in a game that was closer than the deficit (10) indicated.

In 2014, Wisconsin started their season with a 24-7 lead against #13 LSU with the entire country watching. They collapsed, giving up 21 unanswered points. Wisconsin’s Big Ten Opener was also a loss. Despite over 250 yards from Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin lost to Northwestern six due to three red zone interceptions. Their third loss was not quite as close.

In 2015, new Head Coach Paul Chryst led the Badgers to a 10-3 record. One loss was to Alabama. The other two? A four-point loss against Iowa because of a goal line fumble, and a six-point loss against Northwestern because of a wrongly waived off touchdown with a few ticks left.

This current year, Wisconsin again finished 10-3. Their three losses were each by seven-points. They lost to #4 Michigan in an ugly game which Wisconsin had dozens of opportunities to win. They also blew a 10-point lead before falling in overtime to #2 Ohio State. And for a grand finale, they blew a 21-point lead to #7 Penn State in the Big Ten Championship with a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line.

The painful moments and losses aren’t exclusive to just football. Wisconsin Basketball’s last four NCAA Tournament trips have featured last second losses on shots by Chris Chiozza and Aaron Harrison, a blown lead in the National Championship game, and a last minute collapse against Notre Dame. It doesn’t get rougher than that.

While it is easy to look at all those painful moments and cry, there is a positive angle. Wisconsin is so close to getting over the hump. They are competing and pushing the best teams in the conference every single year in football, and it is only a matter of time before a few more breaks fall their way. The same goes for basketball.

Every single year, if a few plays or games went just a little bit differently, Wisconsin Basketball and Football would have been right there, possibly vying for a National Title. A championship may not be as far down the road as we think. And when it comes, it will be even sweeter thanks to all the pain we had to endure to get there.

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Badgers Basketball

Former Badger Jon Leur traded to Milwaukee Bucks

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They say you can always go home, and for one former Wisconsin Badger he’s coming back to a state he called home for four years.

Former Badgers forward Jon Leuer was traded early on Thursday morning from the Detroit Pistons to the Milwaukee Bucks. In exchange for Leuer, the Bucks gave up the 30th overall pick in tonight’s NBA Draft and traded away Tony Snell.

Last season, Leuer played in 41 games for the Pistons and made just one start. He averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in his ninth season in the NBA.

Leuer is a very similar player to Snell, but comes at a much more team-friendly salary.

In trading away Snell, the Bucks free up an additional $4 million in salary this year and another $12 million next year.

This could be seen as a way for the Bucks to pony up the big money that Khris Middleton wants from the team in order to stay in Milwaukee.

As for Leuer, he is 17th on the all-time Badgers scoring list with 1,376 points to his name. He also finished his career with 551 rebounds.

Leuer’s final season in Madison was his best statistically, as he helped lead the 2010-11 Badgers team to the Sweet 16. He averaged 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game that year.

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Badgers Basketball

Badgers basketball land Davis twins

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After missing out on the Hauser brothers late last month, the Wisconsin Badgers added a different pair of siblings on Saturday night.

Following an offer to the brother of 4-star shooting guard Johnny Davis and an appearance at a team camp this weekend, the Davis brothers announced their pledge to the Badgers according to Badger247.

It took less than a week after head coach Greg Gard gave the O.K. to offer Jordan for the pair to commit to Wisconsin.

Johnny held offers from Marquette, West Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota, DePaul, UNLV and others.

Jordan had offers from UW-Milwaukee and Green Bay, while also becoming a sought after recruit on the football field as well. Once he became serious about wanting to play basketball first, it seemed like a matter of time before Wisconsin offered.

That time came after seeing Jordan play in a camp last weekend.

It also came because it was time to figure out if Johnny was serious about the Badgers or not.

With the July evaluation period coming up, Wisconsin’s coaching staff put the final chips in the middle with this recruitment and it appeared to pay off.

Johnny joins as the No. 141 ranked player in the country and the No. 14 ranked combo guard in the nation according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

The twins will join Detroit, Mich. native Lorne Bowman in the 2020 class.

Wisconsin still has one scholarship available in the class as well, which is likely being held for 5-star and Wisconsin native Jalen Johnson.

After missing out on talented in-state players over and over again, this was a major win for Gard and his coaching staff considering how hard schools like West Virginia and Marquette were after Johnny’s commitment.

As for Jordan, it appears the coaching staff believes he is improving enough to get a scholarship and continue his improvement with this program.

Offers don’t come out just because it may win over a different recruit at Wisconsin. That wasn’t Bo Ryan’s style and it also isn’t Greg Gard’s style.

The trio of players put the Badgers at No. 8 in the country and No. 3 in the Big Ten in the 2020 class as of today.

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Badgers Basketball

Former Badgers get No. 2 seed in The Basketball Tournament Columbus regional

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Who doesn’t want $2 million? That’s the prize at stake for winning The Basketball Tournament and a group of former Wisconsin Badgers want in.

On Tuesday it was officially announced that the Kohl Blooded team — spearheaded by former Badgers point guard Kam Taylor — will be the No. 2 seed in the Columbus regional.

They will take on No. 7 seed Mid-American Unity, which is making its second appearance in the TBT after a year off. That group represents teams from across the Mid-American conference.

As for the Badgers, the roster will be made up of some very strong names from the past. The headline names include members of the back-to-back Final Four teams in Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown. Also joining will be Jordan Taylor, Ryan Evans, Trevon Hughes and recent grad Charles Thomas. You can see the full roster here.

The regionals will take place July 19-21 in Columbus with the winner of this regional meeting seven other winners in Chicago for championship week.

All games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks, so you should be able to find them either streaming or on cable television.

Kohl Blooded vs. Mid-American Unity will tip at 1pm ET on Friday, July 19.

The winner will take on the winner of Red Scare (Dayton alumni) and The Region (players from Northwest Indiana) in the regional semi-final the next day.

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Badgers play final card in attempt to land 2020 G Johnny Davis

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A week after losing out on Joey and Sam Hauser, the Wisconsin Badgers basketball program needs some positive momentum on the player acquisition front.

With three scholarships available in the 2020 class and two top in-state players in their sites, the Badgers coaching staff has been about as patient as possible.

On Wednesday, Badger247 reports that UW has offered Jordan Davis, the twin brother of top target Johnny Davis. It’s not a walk-on or grayshirt, but a full scholarship offer.

After two years of waiting for that offer to come, it finally did.

Jordan is an unranked player in basketball at this time, but I expect that to change once the scouting services catch wind of this offer. Johnny Davis is the No. 131 ranked player in the country, a 4-star rated prospect and the No. 3 ranked player in the state of Wisconsin in the 2020 class.

With the brothers set to make a weekend visit for team camp in two weeks, this is a move that undoubtably puts the pressure squarely on Johnny Davis at this point.

Simply put, the Badgers need to know if Davis is going to commit or if they need to move on.

Offering Jordan a full ride is about the only thing left in the Badgers quiver at this point. If getting the dream of playing basketball together at the same school and in-state no less doesn’t tip the scales, at least the Badgers know they can move on.

Is it a desperate move? In some ways one could see it as such. Clearly the Badgers want Johnny in a major way and they see offering Jordan as a critical move that could separate themselves from the competition.

However, this also isn’t a coaching staff willing to just throw away a scholarship in an effort to get a coveted player to play for them. That’s simply not Greg Gard’s style.

Jordan is also a player they see as a contributor, or he wasn’t getting an offer. Plain and simple.

There’s no doubt that this move ups the pressure, like I mentioned before. But, that’s not a bad thing, as UW needs to know where they stand heading in to July’s evaluation period.

If the Davis brothers can’t commit or at least internally give the coaching staff the information that will make them feel comfortable, they need to start getting offers out to other big time players whom they’ve been waiting to offer.

Consider UW is an underdog to land in-state five-star prospect Jalen Johnson, and you have to consider this move a smart one for the long term prospects of the 2020 class.

Will the Davis twins jump at the offer to play together at Wisconsin?

Some in the recruiting world believe this was the situation that was holding Wisconsin back all along. So, don’t be surprised to see this affect the recruitment of both players in a big way.

As for Jordan, his game has also caught the attention of Iowa and Minnesota and he did have scholarship offers from both Green Bay and Milwaukee prior to this one.

What may have really held the Badgers coaching staff and others back was the fact that Jordan is also a good player on the football side and wasn’t sure which sport he wanted to pick.

It seems like UW has gotten the clue that Jordan may be more receptive to a basketball future and pulled the trigger on the offer.

We’ll see how much longer the two stay uncommitted, but don’t be surprised to see something happen following July’s AAU season.

Letting that play out and getting all the offers out there on the table is just a smart move for the twins. From there, it’s up to them and clearly the Badgers have left no stone unturned in this situation.

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