A Eulogy to the Badger Men’s Basketball Seniors
This past Friday night was a sting all Badgers cannot unfeel; in what looked like a sure-Badger win, Florida won the game with an astonishing buzzer-beater. Despite the outcome, we can all agree on two things: the remarkable accomplishments of the senior class and the blessed fact that we are not Indiana (Can you imagine beating Kansas and UNC to start the season and then finishing 18-16, only to lose in the first round of the NIT?). It has been incredible to watch the seniors become leaders on and off the court. Even though their careers ended prematurely, these four seniors have left a lasting impact on Wisconsin basketball. Therefore, we’d like to formally thank Vitto, Zak, Bronson, and Nigel on behalf of the Grateful Red and Badger Nation.
You won over our hearts with your outstanding vocals. It was always a pleasure to see you and your family perform the national anthem before a game. Furthermore, your development as a player has been phenomenal. Also, where did those threes come from??? They were beyond helpful in the Villanova game. We will dearly miss “Downtown” Vitto Brown.
Your dedication to Wisconsin basketball as well as your grit and determination are admirable. Watching you transform from #33 to #3 and become a starter has been enjoyable. Your versatility has made all the difference in several key games. Your basket at the end of regulation on Friday will go down as one of Wisconsin’s best, along with Brust’s half-court shot.
You have consistently been one of the best point guards in the country, let alone the Big Ten. And although it infuriated us every time, how you manage to hit those contested three-pointers is confounding, to say the least; the Koenig Kounter will be dearly missed. Clearly, KeVaugn Allen had been studying your tapes on those threes— there’s no other way he could have scored those 35 points (especially while wearing a sweatband). Seeing you limping on the court near the end of the Florida game was a heart-wrenching moment for all Badgers— your dedication was painfully apparent.
Where to start? It has been an honor to watch your transformation from a goofy freshman to a mature senior. Your leadership on and off the court, and in the really cool “Nigel Burgundy” videos you blessed us with, is admirable. Despite falling short on a national championship, your decision to return for your senior year was one of the best things to happen to Wisconsin basketball. You further solidified your legacy as one of the best players to ever don a Wisconsin jersey.
Four consecutive Sweet Sixteen trips. Two Final Fours. National Runner-Ups. These seniors helped take Wisconsin basketball to unprecedented heights. And even though their run for all the money was cut short by “gators”, or whatever that means, their achievements will be remembered long into the future. On Wisconsin!
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