The Other Badger Basketball Team

Well, I think Badger basketball fans have calmed down since a week ago. Now that not only are two other #2 seeds no longer alive, but two #1 seeds have been eliminated, it doesn’t seem quite as painful not to have the Badgers in there. And let’s face it, the way the Badgers were playing in the last few games, are you really sorry they didn’t have a chance to play Florida? Or UCLA? Probably not.

I still like Florida to win it all. Over Georgetown. Which is what I had in my bracket. So I’m way past that whole Oral Roberts debacle. Thanks for nothing, Seth Davis.

Another reason Badger fans should be feeling good is that the women’s team continues to roll on. With their stirring, come-from-behind victory over Virginia, Lisa Stone’s squad is just two wins away from a WNIT championship, which would be their first in seven years. Before you scoff and say, “well, it’s just the WNIT,” note that there are no fewer than 48 teams that compete for the title, and most of the schools represented are powerhouse Division I schools. We’re not talking about Jack’s College against the University of Charlie Sheen here.

Also note that with Sunday’s win over Virginia, the women’s basketball team — along with the football team, the men’s basketball team, and the women’s hockey team — set records in 2006-2007 for most wins in a season. Pretty impressive.

Hopefully the women’s basketball program can use this season and its high hopes for next season — all starters will be returning — to boost interest, specifically in the area of fan attendance. The advantage for fans of having their team in the WNIT over the women’s NCAA tournament is that the games are held on campus sites. Unfortunately, the Badgers only got 3,149 for Sunday’s win. I think the men would draw that if they were playing Horse. Hopefully more will turn out for Wednesday’s semifinal game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who I guess are pretty good — their record is 23-8 and they reached the WNIT semifinals last year. But what the heck is a Hilltopper anyway? Is that when someone makes a joke funnier than a Benny Hill joke? Not like that could ever happen anyway.

Hey, Ron Jaworski is replacing Joe Theismann on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. I don’t know why the change was made, but I don’t care. I like it. Granted, it’s sort of like replacing Keenan Ivory Wayans with Damon Wayans — a marginal step up — but I still support it. Maybe Theismann has been demoted to arena football and poker. Hopefully.

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