Jim Polzin, Wisconsin State Journal
MADISON — Two of the worst shooting performances of Bronson Koenig's career have come at Madison Square Garden. But the senior point guard for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team also has some good memories from the historic venue in New York that will host an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 game between the Badgers (27-9) and Florida (26-8) on Friday night. In three games at Madison Square Garden over the past two seasons, Koenig has shot 33.3 percent overall from the field (13-for-39) and 23.8 percent from 3-point range (5-for-21).
Lamont Paris was skimming a media packet containing University of Wisconsin men's basketball facts and statistics Friday when one particular note caught his eye. When the associate head coach read the Badgers were the only team in the country to advance to the Sweet 16 in each of the past three seasons, he shared the tidbit with fellow assistant Joe Krabbenhoft. "We looked at each other and we just said, 'Four in a row would just be silly, wouldn't it?' " Paris said. "So we went for silly."
Greg Gard took some time to reflect during his NCAA tournament news conference Sunday evening. The date the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach chose as a reference point was Jan. 15. Gard was the program’s interim coach at that point, and the team he had taken over a month earlier was 9-9 overall and 1-4 in Big Ten Conference play. “I’m not sure we would have all said this day was going to be possible or attainable,” Gard said. “But for how far they’ve come in the past two months is an extreme credit to them.”
There’s a drill the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team occasionally uses in practice that is tailor-made for senior guard Ben Brust. The 3-minute session begins with a player shooting a 3-pointer from the right corner, then running to midcourt and returning to the arc for another shot attempt. If the player misses the shot, he must go back to the right corner and attempt another one.