The Badger Herald’s top five moments of the semester

first_imgIn a semester that saw heartbreaking losses and long-time coaches having their time at Wisconsin come to an end, there were still plenty of high points over the course of the last five months for UW athletics.Here are The Badger Herald’s top five moments of the semester:Bronson Koenig sinks fadeaway three to upset XavierMarissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldBronson Koenig’s last-second three pointer to lift the No. 7 Badgers over No. 2 Xavier and into the Sweet 16 was one of the more memorable moments in Wisconsin basketball history.While Ben Brust’s three over Michigan and last year’s victory over Kentucky are definitely at the top of the list, this historic moment is not out of contention. For anyone who actually watched the final five minutes and 40 seconds of the game without having a heart attack, the shot probably pushed them over the edge. The Badgers trailed by eight points with a little less than six minutes remaining, and Koenig’s pair of threes with less then a minute left capped off the unbelievable run.NCAA.com ranked it as one the top five most memorable moments from this year’s tournament and CBS’s special “One Shining Moment” montage headlined it as one of the best finishes all year.The Internet reacts to Badgers win over XavierSWEET, SWEET VICTORY. We’re headed back to the Sweet Sixteen. Because THIS happened: You wanna see that again? I do. Let’s get Read…Gard gets interim tag removedMarissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldThis headline was met with a sigh of relief for almost every Badger around the country. The announcement made on March 7 that Greg Gard would have his interim coaching tag removed and become the official head coach was more than well deserved.After long-time and legendary coach Bo Ryan retired following Wisconsin’s home win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi in December, Gard was quickly thrown into a difficult situation. The 23-year assistant of Ryan had mixed expectations coming in and initially stumbled out to a 1-4 start in the Big Ten and a 9-9 overall record after a depressing loss at Northwestern. But a commitment to the steady “swing” offense instilled from Ryan into Gard turned the tide for the Badgers and led them into fourth place in the Big Ten with huge wins over No. 4 Michigan State, Indiana, No. 2 Maryland and No. 7 Iowa.The inspired tournament run by Gard and the Badgers helped Wisconsin reach the Sweet 16 for the third straight year and do what Ryan was rarely able to do: pull off upsets in the early rounds. The removal of Gard’s tag entering the tournament was the final vote of confidence needed to give the aspiring coach complete support from the entire Badger fan base.Stand Gard: Badgers have found their leaderGreg Gard has been named head coach of University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team.  No more interim label, no more audition Read…Women’s hockey returns to the Frozen FourElliot Moormann/The Badger HeraldWhile a second-straight Frozen Four for the Wisconsin women’s hockey team was a testament to yet another dominant season, the Badger faithful were expecting a different headline at the end of this year: a national championship.Head coach Mark Johnson and junior goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens helped lead the veteran squad to a WCHA regular-season and tournament titles, but fell short 3-2 to rival Minnesota in the NCAA semifinals. Desbiens set the all-time record for most shutouts in a single season and was a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the best goaltender in the country.On top of that, the Badgers started the season a resounding 30-2-1 and finished the season a perfect 21-0-0 at home. Despite the accolades and accomplishments this team achieved this season, another trip to the Frozen Four was seen as a step below their eventual goal.That being said, their finish as one of the top four teams in the country is certainly noteworthy and well deserved. With Johnson returning for another year, expect this team to reload and be back in the drivers seat for another Frozen Four come next season.Larson: Badgers’ victory showcased complete team effort, what is needed to reach NCAA finalHad you walked into LaBahn Arena this weekend and not known that it was the NCAA Quarterfinal game, you would’ve Read…Football ends season on high noteWisconsin football’s 23-21 back-and-forth triumph over No. 25 USC in the Holiday Bowl was a fitting and exciting end to an otherwise average season for the Badgers. While it’s tough to say that 10-3 is average, the easy schedule and controversial losses throughout the season left Wisconsin fans wondering what could’ve been as they traveled to San Diego for that final game.Needless to say, Rafael Gaglianone’s 29-yard kick and a dominant late-game performance from linebacker Jack Cichy to give the Badgers their second-straight bowl victory was more than enough to put away any doubts about the year. Head coach Paul Chryst finished out his first year at the helm with an impressive victory over a solid team and the top-ranked scoring defense in the country.This all came despite on and off the field issues with star running back Corey Clement and a limited recruiting season given the time restrictions of his hiring. Despite the departure of defensive coordinator Dave Aranda some time later, this tense win for the Badgers cemented this season as a positive and gave the Badger faithful some promise entering next season.Brazzoni: Victory over USC defines what Wisconsin football meant in 2015Coming into their Holiday Bowl showdown against USC, the Wisconsin football team had played two opponents that would be considered Read…Men’s hockey, women’s basketball turn the tide with new hiresMarissa Haegele/The Badger HeraldThis winter was not a big positive for both men’s hockey and women’s basketball, for a number of reasons. Each team limped to last place in their respective Big Ten conference standings and lost in the first round of their conference tournaments after subpar regular-season records. Almost immediately following the final whistle of the season for either squads, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez decided it was time for a change.March 27, it was announced former Badger legend Tony Granato would be the new men’s hockey head coach and his brother Don Granato and Mark Osiecki would join on as assistants after long-time coach Mike Eaves was fired. The three hires have been widely accepted by the Badger fan base and should be excellent coaches for a particularly young roster, especially considering the NHL and college experience shared between the trio.Only a day following the announcement, it was released that Jonathan Tsipis would be the new women’s basketball coach after five-year coach Bobbie Kelsey was fired. Tsipis was attributed with bringing the George Washington University women’s team back from the brink and is promising for a struggling program in Madison. All in all, exciting hires were made for two teams in dire need of rebirths.Men’s hockey: With Granato comes experience both on, off the iceAfter two consecutive disappointing seasons, Wisconsin men’s hockey seems to be taking a step in the right direction with the expected announcement Read…last_img

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