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University of Wisconsin Badgers Mens Basketball

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University of Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center

Madison, Wisconsin, is home to one of the top men's basketball programs in the Big Ten Conference. The Badgers play at the Kohl Center, which opened in 1998 and currently seats 17,287. They are coached by Greg Gard, who was a longtime assistant and associate head coach under Bo Ryan before taking the reins after Ryan's retirement in December 2015.

Wisconsin Badgers Men's Basketball History

The University of Wisconsin first fielded a men's basketball team in the winter of 1899. Walter Meanwell would lead the Badgers to three retroactive national championships, in 1912, 1914 and 1916, while his replacement Harold "Bud" Foster would continue their success as head coach from 1934 to 1959. In 1941, Wisconsin won their first and to date only NCAA tournament, beating Washington State 39-34 in the finals. The Badgers would reach the Elite Eight in 1947 (when only eight teams played in the NCAA tournament), only to go until 1989 before reaching another postseason tourney.

Wisconsin bounced back into the national spotlight beginning in the '90s. Former New York Knicks head coach Stu Jackson led the Badgers to their first NCAA bid in nearly 50 years in 1994, before leaving to become general manager of the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies. After a one-year interlude in the mid 1990s which saw future NBA coach Stan Van Gundy leading the Badgers, Coach Dick Bennett took Wisconsin to the Final Four in 2000, before the Badgers fell to conference rival Michigan State. Bo Ryan sustained the success Wisconsin had achieved in the late '90s and expanded upon it, leading the Badgers to the NCAA tournament in each of his 14 seasons as coach. Power forward Frank "The Tank" Kaminsky was the centerpiece of Wisconsin's offense in the mid '10s, and helped guide the Badgers to two Final Four appearances, in 2014 and in 2015 when they lost in the national championship to Duke, 68-63.