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The Wisconsin Badgers are the collegiate athletic teams from the University of Wisconsin–Madisonmarker. This NCAA Division I athletic program has teams in football, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, soccer, cross country, tennis, swimming, wrestling, track and field, rowing, golf, and softball. The Badgers have several major on-campus facilities, including Camp Randall Stadiummarker, the UW Field Housemarker, and the Kohl Centermarker. They compete in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except men's and women's ice hockey and crew. Ice hockey competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and crew in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC).

The athletic director is Barry Alvarez, former head coach of the football team. The Badgers team colors are cardinal and white, and the team mascot is named "Buckingham U. Badger," known as "Bucky Badger."

Team Name Origin

The territory was dubbed the "Badger State," not because of animals in the region, but rather because of an association with lead miners. In the 1820s and 1830s prospectors came to the state looking for minerals, and without shelter in the winter, the miners had to "live like badgers" in tunnels burrowed into hillsides.[38970]

The badger mascot was adopted by the University of Wisconsin in 1889. His name, "Buckingham U. Badger", aka "Bucky Badger," was chosen in a contest in 1949. [38971] The emblem, a scowling, strutting badger wearing a cardinal-and-white striped sweater, was designed by Art Evans in 1940 and updated in 2003.


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The most well-known Wisconsin varsity team in recent years has been the football team. Wisconsin's football program has been among the most successful in the Big Ten since the early 1990s, when Barry Alvarez was hired as head coach. Under Alvarez, the Badgers won 3 Rose Bowlsmarker and 3 Big Ten Championships. In the 2005 season, Alvarez's last year as coach, the Badgers shocked the Auburn Tigers 24-10, in the Capital One Bowl. In 2006, Bret Bielema took over as head coach, posting a 12-1 record and defeating Arkansasmarker 17-14, in the Capital One Bowl. The Badgers are 10-10 in bowl games, and have made 14 bowl appearance in the past 15 seasons, including a school record 7 straight. [38972] The Badger football program boasts two Heisman Trophy winners: fullback Alan Ameche in 1954, and, running back Ron Dayne in 1999.

The Wisconsin Badgers football team plays its home games at Camp Randall Stadiummarker. Built in 1917, Camp Randall is the fourth-oldest college football stadium in the country and has a capacity of 80,321. The student section at Camp Randall is considered by many to be one of the best in all of college football. Among the stadium traditions is a well-known student celebration to the House of Pain song "Jump Around," occurring at the end of the third quarter of every home game. The University of Wisconsin Marching Band performs its famous 5th Quarter after every game.


Men's Basketball

The Badgers have developed into one of the Big Ten's basketball powerhouses in recent years. Wisconsin has made it to the Final Four twice in its history — most recently in 2000, and before that in 1941, when they won the National Championship. The Badgers have also participated in the NCAA tournament for the last eleven seasons (1999-2009). Wisconsin tied for first place in the Big Ten in the 2001-02 season along with Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio State. In 2002-03 the Badgers won the Big Ten outright, but then lost in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament to Ohio State. In the NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin lost to Kentuckymarker in the Sweet 16. In 2003-04, Wisconsin finished second in the Big Ten. They went on to win the Big Ten Tournament, the only time they have won since the inception of the tournament in 1998. However, the Badgers lost to #3-seeded Pittsburgh in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In the 2004-05 season Wisconsin finished third in the Big Ten. In the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin advanced to the Elite Eight by defeating #11 seed Northern Iowa, #14 seed Bucknellmarker, and #10 seed North Carolina State. In 2005-2006 the Badgers had a somewhat disappointing season that culminated in a blowout loss to Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, and another blowout loss to Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. During the regular season, Wisconsin lost a home game to Division 1 North Dakota State Universitymarker. The highlight of the season was a win over intrastate rival Marquette.

In the 2006-07 season the Badgers played extremely well with victories at Marquette and at home against #2 ranked Pittsburgh. Their lone non-conference loss was against Missouri State. The Badgers also lost on the road against Indiana on January 31, but on February 19, 2007, they earned their first #1 ranking in school history with a 26–2 record. The next day, they were defeated by the unranked Michigan State Spartans 64–55 at the Breslin Center. Then, a week later, they lost to the #2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 48–49. Entering the Big 10 Tournament the second seed, their first game was against Michigan State for their third meeting in three weeks. The Badgers defeated the Spartans 70–57. Advancing to the next round against Illinois, the Badgers won 53–41 and advanced to the final to face #1 ranked Ohio State once again. The Buckeyes proved too strong for the depleted Badgers this time, handily defeating them 66–49. Shortly after the game, the seedings were announced for the NCAA Tournament with Wisconsin receiving a #2 seed in the Midwest Bracket. The Badgers struggled throughout the NCAA Tournament. They were down by as much as 18 in the first half of the first round against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. However they managed to edge them by 13 due to a 57 point second half. The 2nd round of the tournament would prove fatal for the Badgers against UNLV. The Badgers were the highest ranked seed knocked out this early in the tournament.

Dick Bennett is largely credited with beginning the turnaround of the program. During his six-year tenure at Wisconsin (1995–2000), the Badgers achieved a 91-68 record and had two 20 win seasons. Only twice previously had the Badgers won at least 20 games in a season, the most recent being the 1940-41 championship season. Current coach Bo Ryan has been in charge since the 2001-02 season and has led the Badgers to the NCAA Tournament every year. As of 2005-06, Ryan has compiled a record of 112–49 with the Badgers, and during the 2006–07 season, he not only achieved his 500th win as a college coach but the Badgers were also ranked #1 in the AP Top for the first time in program history.

Notable Badgers currently in the NBA: Michael Finley, Devin Harris, Alando Tucker

The Badgers play their home games at the 17,190-seat Kohl Centermarker, where they have one of the best home winning records in college basketball.

Ice Hockey

The Badgers made history in 2006 when both the men's and women's hockey teams were crowned NCAA Division I National Champions. This was the first time a Division I school has won both the men's and women's crowns in the same year.

The Badger men won their sixth National Championship on April 8, 2006, at the Bradley Centermarker in Milwaukeemarker, with a 2–1 victory over Boston Collegemarker. The men's team had previously won the National Championship in 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983, and 1990.

The Badger women won their first title on March 26, 2006, at Mariucci Arenamarker in Minneapolismarker, with a 3–0 victory over the defending champion Minnesota Golden Gophers. This was the first women's hockey national championship for Wisconsin and the first time that the NCAA Women's National Championship trophy left the state of Minnesota. (Minnesota-Duluth won the trophy in 2001, 2002, and 2003; Minnesota won it in 2004 and 2005.) The victory did, however, continue the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's dominance of the women's crown. On March 18, 2007, the Badger women captured the back-to-back National Championship with a 4–1 win over Minnesota-Duluth at Herb Brooks Arena, in Lake Placid, New York. The Badgers returned to the National Championship game in 2008, but suffered a disappointing 4-0 loss at the hands of Minnesota-Duluth. In 2009, the Badgers became the first team in NCAA history to reach the title game in four consecutive seasons, winning their third National Championship with a 5-0 victory over Mercyhurst.

Mike Eaves is the head coach of the men's hockey team, while Mark Johnson coaches the women's hockey team. Both teams play home games at the Kohl Centermarker in Madisonmarker.

National championships

Through the Winter 2009 sports season, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has won 27 NCAA national championships.University of Wisconsin–Madison's championships occurred in the following sports:

Additionally, the men's and women's rowing programs have earned 27 non-NCAA national titles between 1900 and 2006.

Trademark dispute

The University of Wisconsin has been involved in disputes with a number of high schools, including ones in Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia, for trademark infringement. The issue involved the use of the Badger's athletic logo, the "motion W". As a result of the litigation, the high schools involved were required to change their logos.

See also


  1. W War in Iowa, Wisconsin?.
  2. Trademarked athletic logos (or: Why your "W" looks too much like my "W") | Typophile

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