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Badgers Dominate Duke Comment
Brief Statement For A Wisconsin Alum Duke Fan
Dec 2 Duke at Wisconsin, L 69-73
Duke: Kyle Singler 10-17, 28 Pts
Wis: Trevon Hughes 9-16, 26 Pts
I love Duke men's basketball. More than Wisconsin. Even though I graduated from Wisconsin in 1985. I've liked Duke since 1979 and became a crazed fan over the UNLV years - the agony and the ecstasy. I've happily never had to watch a Duke vs Wisconsin game up until the past few years. But two years ago Wisconsin went to Cameron Indoor Stadium and got their asses handed to them. I wasn't sure how I'd feel but I was happy about it. I wanted Duke to win the entire first meeting. It felt a bit wrong but that is how it was. And Duke clobbered Wisconsin that night. Even the worst of my Duke hating Wisconsin fan friends begrudgingly admitted that Duke blew them out that year.
This year, a weaker Wisconsin team (supposedly) and a #6 ranked (higher than they deserve early (again)) Duke team met in Wisconsin at the Kohl center and Duke got the pay back. Wisconsin never trailed. When Wisconsin needed a shot, they nailed one. When they needed a rebound they pulled it down. Wisconsin didn't play flawless and Duke didn't play poorly, Wisconsin just socked Duke in the gut from the opening tip on. It was an awesome night for Wisconsin. A game that will be talked about for years to come. I'm glad I was at it. I think it worked out fine that Wisconsin evened the score. I don't think many Duke fans came away with anything but respect for Bo Ryan and his program and his kids. We Duke fans call these "good losses" or "a wakeup call" because it is early in the season and it wasn't a loss to a conference rival. What Bo Ryan is doing in Madison, always has reminded me of what Coach K did for Duke through the 80's and if that is true then there are possibly a few more Wisconsin over Duke games in my future.
I wanted Duke to win but they didn't. Wisconsin owned that night and it was a rocking Kohl center. The Badger fans charged the floor and the atmosphere was electric. For an "experience" at the Kohl center there probably hasn't been much better than that night. I wish as an alum I could've been cheering instead of begrudgingly yielding over to respect. But I bleed blue for men's hoops... otherwise I do bleed red for Wisconsin sports.
So my hat's off to the Badgers... or hat on I guess as I'm wearing my red Badger knit skate cap as I write this with my ragged old Duke sweatshirt on, as is my custom. I'm a Wisconsin Duke fan, but I do admit that both times I totally wanted Duke to win. It just wasn't to be. It was the first time I've ever seen Duke live and I did that. I saw the team live. A good team. A team I like. Maybe too much of the young Plumlee but lets not look back...
Maybe next time Duke pulls off a win? I don't think it will matter much for the memory of that December 2nd night. In that regard, the Wisconsin win is even better. For when I hear, "Remember when the Badgers beat Duke in Madison?", I'll be able to nod. I was there. I watched that group of kids take down an impressive Duke team. I was there for probably one of the top 5 wins the Kohl center has ever seen or possibly ever will see. I was there. I'm cool with being a part of Wisconsin history. I definitely received a new appreciation for the Badger team. Congratulations to Wisconsin. Can't wait for the rematch! Cause you guys are so going DOWN the next time!!!