Wisconsin extends nation’s best football/basketball stretch
Badgers’ 25-year run of success is unparalleled
MADISON, Wis. – “When you say Wisconsin … you’ve said it all!”
That phrase, made popular by longtime Wisconsin Marching Band Director Mike Leckrone, has never been more fitting.
Over the last 25 years, starting with the 1995-96 school year, Wisconsin has played in 22 bowl games and appeared in 21 NCAA men’s basketball tournaments. Those 43 combined appearances are the most in the country over that stretch. Below are the top 10 programs over the last 25 years (the complete list of 130 FBS programs is attached):
What makes Wisconsin’s prolonged streak of success even more impressive is that prior to 1995, the Badgers had been to only seven bowl games and been invited to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament just three times.
The men’s basketball team is a No. 5 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament after missing last year’s Big Dance. That broke a streak of 19 consecutive March Madness appearances for UW, the sixth-longest streak in NCAA history. The Badgers are one of just five teams in the country to have made the tournament in 20 of the last 21 seasons, joining Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Michigan State.
UW has advanced to at least the Sweet 16 in each of its last four NCAA tournament appearances and the Badgers’ 13 wins in the NCAA tournament since 2014 are the fourth-highest total in the country. Only Kentucky, North Carolina and Villanova have more (15).
On the football side, the Badgers have been to a bowl game in each of the last 17 seasons, tied for the fifth-longest active streak in the country. Wisconsin has won five straight bowl games, the longest streak in Big Ten history and tied with Louisiana Tech for the longest active streak in the nation.