The Pocket Doppler Big Ten (12) Wisconsin Sports Moments of 2011
This past year was a banner one for Wisconsin based sports teams. To recap the year we present our list of the most notable sporting events that occurred in Wisconsin – The Pocket Doppler Big Ten (12) Wisconsin Sports Moments of 2011 (if the Big Ten can actually have 12 teams, we figured our list could too).
12 – UW & Marquette Basketball Reach Sweet 16 – Neither team got much farther than this, but everyone was happy to see them advance past the first weekend of the tournament.
11 – Badgers Lose to TCU – The Badgers’ finally got back to the Rose Bowl, to face non-AQ school TCU. The game came down to the wire but in the end the Badgers lost, shocking UW fans & starting their year off on a down note.
10 – UWW Defends Stagg Bowl Title – UW-Whitewater won its 3rd consecutive DIII Championship in December of 2011, its 7th straight appearance at the Stagg Bowl.
9 – UW Football Takes Down Nebraska – This was going to be the big test, with Big Ten newcomer Nebraska & The Black Shirts coming to Camp Randall. The game didn’t turn out as anyone expected, as the Badgers romped all over the vaunted Nebraska defense, winning 48-17.
8 – Badgers Hoopsters Upset Ohio State – Could the Badgers’ hoops team do what the football team did the previous season and beat a #1 ranked Ohio State team? Yes they could, defeating the then ranked #1 Buckeyes at the Kohl Center in mid-February of 2011.
7 – Back-to-Back Hail Marys – The Badgers were considered National Championship contenders headed into East Lansing to take on MSU. Those hopes were dashed as they lost to the Spartans on a last second Hail Mary. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the same thing happened the very next week when visiting the Horseshoe, losing to Ohio State on another waning minutes heave to the endzone.
6 – Brewers Win NL Central - It hadn’t been since 1982 that the Brewers were divisional champs, when they won the American League Central Division title.
5 – Ryan Braun Tests Positive – A collective gasp of disbelief emanated from Wisconsin as the news broke that Ryan Braun had tested positive for a banned substance. The story has yet to really play out, and there would appear a lot to play out, but Braun is subject to a 50 game suspension if the positive test is upheld.
4 – Packers Fast Start – The wins piled up, Packer Nation was thrilled & talks of the perfect season were underway as the Pack reached 13 – 0. All that talk was derailed in Kansas City, but you can’t discount anything that happened up until that game.
3 – Badgers Win Big Ten Championship Game – This was all about redemption, going up against Michigan State, a team they lost to on a last second Hail Mary in the regular season. This time the Badgers held serve, winning the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game & Title and earning their second straight Rose Bowl berth.
2 – Brewers Advance to NLCS – Just like above, we’d been waiting since 1982 for the Brewers to win a divisional league series or advance to a conference series. What happened next sucked, but at the time spirits were high.
1 – Packers win Super Bowl XLV – How can this not be number 1 on anyone’s list? The Brewers & Badgers football team did some good things this past year but none of the won their sports’ championship. As the sixth seed in the NFC, the Packers went on a surprising road game winning streak to reach the Super Bowl where the fairy tale continued, beating the Steelers 31-25. There was much rejoicing.
There you go, your Big Ten (12) Wisconsin Sports Moments of 2011.