Name: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Enrollment: 43,338 misguided souls, 29,536 of them ruining their lives as undergraduates
School Colors: Cardinal and white, officially, but no one is going to yell at you if you say red and white.
Appropriate use of names: It’s hard to argue with their decision to call the red “cardinal” since, as AE Editor Emeritus Rubie Q pointed out in November, Wisconsin fans have become the St. Louis Cardinals fans of college sports.
Why “Badgers?” Wisconsin was dubbed the "Badger State" because of the lead miners who first settled there in the 1820s and 1830s. Without shelter in the winter, they had to "live like badgers" in tunnels burrowed into hillsides. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from there to naming the sports teams of the flagship university after the state’s nickname.
Potential Alternative Nickname: Popcorn Skunks
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, the state capital of the otherwise beautiful state of Wisconsin.
Notable Alumni: Literally no one interesting or relevant has ever graduated from the University of Wisconsin. By definition, Wisconsin graduates can not be notable.
Campus Traditions: Pretending that they own the complete and full rights to House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around,’ interrupting graduation ceremonies to play ‘Jump Around’ because they think they own it, yelling at teenagers on Twitter because said teenagers don’t want to go to their school, illegally acquiring shoes, yelling at teenagers on Twitter because said teenagers changed their minds about going to their school, getting paid millions of dollars to trip and fall, failing to help a star player play a home game as a senior, microwaving parrots, quitting your job in the middle of the busy part of the year, failing to out-slow Virginia, spending hundreds of dollars on custom clothing and then being sad that no one noticed, missing the NCAA tournament for 46 consecutive years and then pretending that never happened after making the tourney for 10+ straight years, burglary, being a millionaire and calling teenagers soft, harassing stenographers who are just trying to do their damn jobs, being a pantsless freak who Facebook stalks women and as a result has no friends on campus, punching basketballs into teammates’ faces, and finally, using Photoshop to try to pretend that they have a racially diverse campus.
Last season: 27-9 overall, 12-6 in the Big Ten. They upset Villanova in the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament (boo) before getting their hearts ripped out by Chris Chiozza and the Florida Gators in the sweet 16.
Let’s watch, shall we?
Shoutout to noted Gator Chomper J.P. Macura.
Final KenPom 2016-17 Rating: #21
This season: 4-6, with their latest loss coming to Temple, ouch.
Current 2017-18 KenPom Rating: #47
Points: Ethan Happ 16.2 ppg
Rebounds: Ethan Happ 8.6 rpg
Assists: Ethan Happ 3.0 apg
This Ethan Happ kid must pretty good then, huh? Well, yes and no. Yeah, the redshirt junior is Wisconsin’s lone star left from last year’s Sweet 16 team, and they only returned two other guys who played more than 250 minutes from that squad. It’s not that hard for Happ to jump to the front of the leaderboard in everything given all of that. Leading the team in everything is pretty good, so if the Golden Eagles contain him, they should chalk this one up in the win column.
Shooters: Freshman Brad Davison is averaging 10 points a game in the first 10 games of his career. It doesn’t sound like much, but remember that the team only averages 66 points per game. He is leading the Badgers is three point field goals with 20, and he’s the only UW player that shoots it regularly enough to make a scouting report and also make more than 35% of his attempts. Look for him to be a victim of #TheThing and then try to fight Andrew Rowsey about it.
Head Coach: Greg Gard was named head coach after Bo Ryan just up and quit his job in the middle of the 2015-16 season. Gard is now in his third season overall and second full season. His record so far is 46-24.
Hey, how’s he doing lately? Not great! In his last 20 games against Major Eight conference opponents, Wisconsin has a record of 7 wins and 13 losses. Yes, that’s right, more than half of Gard’s losses as a head coach have come in Wisconsin’s last 23 games. Two of those wins came in the 2017 NCAA tournament, which is kind of masking the abject failure that Gard’s tenure is slowly becoming.
All Time Series: Wisconsin leads 67-56 in the all time series.