Spent a good chunk of the evening watching the third-ranked University of Wisconsin-Madison basketball team performing admirable public service by playing the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Ever since Coach Dick Bennett left UW-Green Bay for the Madison job, the Badger basketball team has played the other three Division I schools in the state every year (or close to it).
The Big Ten Badgers have a longstanding history with Big East in-state rival Marquette, but let’s just say the other two state schools (Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee) offer but token resistance most years. Tonight, the Badgers topped the Phoenix (a favorite to win the Horizon League this year) 84-60. Milwaukee (my alma mater, and last year’s Horizon League tournament winner) lost tonight to Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (aka UIPUI) 70-68.
But I didn’t really mean to write about the Wisconsin round-robin. It’s about the level of excellence among the state’s most prominent athletic teams. The Wisconsin basketball team made the Final Four last year, and is now ranked #3, behind Kentucky and Arizona.
On the football field, Wisconsin rode running back Melvin Gordon III right over Nebraska 59-24. Gordon ran for a record 408 yards in a single game (actually in three quarters!). And the Green Bay Packers have looked unbeatable of late, scoring 50+ points in their last two games (another feat never achieved in the nearly 100 years of the Green Bay NFL franchise).
So we’re smiling here in the Land of Cheese. Let’s see how it all turns out.