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Written by Andrew Coppens | 25 May 2012

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It's Memorial Day Weekend, so we're giving you more bang for your viewing pleasure here on the MTB College Sports Bucket List with a few 2 for 1's as we are already into the 70's on the list, and we'll start with No. 79 right now. So before you head out for your plans or just enjoy what's supposed to be a great Wisconsin weekend enjoy what we've got in store for you!! 

Before we forget, don't miss out on No. 80 from the other day - It is a classic battle of wills in the world of Women's college basketball.

No. 79 - Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M (FCS Football): 

Just about every college football fan out there is aware of the Grambling vs. Southern "Bayou Classic", but there is an equally important and exciting classic in the world of HBCU football and that's the "Magic City Classic" between SWAC and in-state foes Alabama State and Alabama A&M.

These two represent two of the largest cities inside the state of Alabama with the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M coming from Huntsville and the Hornets of Alabama State coming from Mobile.  Last year the game celebrated it's 70th anniversary as the Magic City Classic, with Alabama A&M winning the game on their way to a SWAC Championship game appearance and place amongst the best of FCS football last season.  

What makes this game so great is it's a celebration of the two biggest historically black colleges/universities in the state of Alabama and it's played to amazing crowds at Birmingham's Legion Field, with last year's game attracting over 70,000 people (including the likes of Vivica A. Fox and may other celebrities).   It's also accompanied by many alumni activities and of course the famous battle of the bands that can sometime make halftime feel like the real game.

Although the game has been played for going on 71 seasons in Birmingham, the series is a bit older, celebrating it's 76th overall game in 2012.  Currently it's one of the more competitive series out there with the overall record standing at 36-36-3 thanks to the Hornets victory last year.  Each team has had periods of dominance with both having winning streaks of at least 7 games, but since 1999 this series has really been owned by Alabama A&M as they have a record of 11-2 in the series from 1999-2011. 

These "Classics" are events worth attending just for all the pageantry and tradition that's involved and puts some of the other, more known, games to shame when it's all said and done and this one is up there on the list of HBCU classics to see.  From the parties, the tailgates, to the halftime extravaganza, and the game itself this is an event and a game that's a can't miss if you are fan of tradition in college sports.  It's really a rivalry in it's purest form.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 24 May 2012

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We ended season one of the Badgers Power Hour at the beginning of this month and since then THE ONLY LIVE CALL-IN SHOW DEDICATED TO WISCONSIN ATHLETICS has found a new home.  We are now part of the Sports Intelligentsia Radio Network - The home for INTELLIGENT sports talk!!  

As a result we are proud to launch the network with a live 30 minute edtion of Badgers Power Hour tonight, airing at 6pm Central! So tune in by clicking here.

On the show your regular host Andy Coppens will be joined by Evan Flood of Badger247 to catch up on the world of football & basketball recruiting and in the 2nd half of the show we'll introduce you to the newest member of the MTB family, our hockey reporter, Nate Woelfel.  

Join us live as we proudly launch the Sports Intelligentsia movement!!  Get in on the ground floor and there just may be a few surprises coming your way!

If you can't listen live then make sure you get it downloaded via iTunes or Stitcher - Smart Radio.  Stitcher is available for all you iPhone and android users out there and comes highly recommended from our staff!!

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Written by Cole Brown | 24 May 2012

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A few days after being Snubbed by the NBA, Jordan Taylor starts his preperation for the NBA Draft, which takes place on June 28th.  Taylor had his first pre-draft workout with the Golden State Warriors earlier this week.

According to Patrick Herb of UWBadgers.com, Jordan Talyor also has scheduled work-outs with the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Phoenix Suns.

For those unfamiliar with the draft process, NBA teams invite potential draftees to come and participate in private workouts and interviews. If the teams like what they see, they will often invite you to come back and work out against other draftees.

"All you can do is go out there and try to play hard all the time,” Taylor said. “To get in the NBA you have to have a little luck as well as skill, so that’s the goal, but if not hopefully there will be some other great options.”

As of now, Taylor isn't projected by many to be drafted. It only takes one team to fall in love with him though. He could easily be a late 2nd round pick. “I think I’ll get a chance and it’s all about trying to prove my worth and taking advantage of opportunities."

We'll keep you updated on Jordan Taylor's road to the NBA as the situation warrants!

Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@MTBadgers) and Cole at @colewbrown for the latest on Badgers Basketball.

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Written by Nate Woelfel | 23 May 2012

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The 2012-13 men's hockey schedule was released on Wednesday. It will be their final season as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

36 games, including 19 regular-season home contests are on the slate for the upcoming campaign. One-third of the games will be against teams who qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season.

The first day of sanctioned practice is on October 6. The Badgers will open up with an exhibition game against the U.S. U-18 team later that evening at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin will play its first four regular season games on the road including a two-game series against Northern Michigan at the Resch Center in Green bay October 12-13.

The first home series of the year will take place November 2-3 when Colorado College comes to town. Wisconsin will also dedicate the rink to former Badgers head coach Bob Johnson. Johnson led the Badgers from 1966-81 during that time his teams appeared in seven NCAA Tournaments and claimed three National Championships.

Returning WCHA Champions Minnesota will make their only visit to the Kohl Center Friday, February 15. The back end of that two-game set is likely going to be played at Soldier Field in Chicago on February 17.

Rival North Dakota will not be coming to Madison this year. The two teams will meet for their only series of the season on February 1-2 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

As mentioned on Tuesday, high school state championship action will play havoc on the home portion of the schedule late in the season. The series with Penn State on February 24-25 will be a Sunday-Monday affair due to the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Championships. The next scheduled home series, against St. Cloud State, March 8-9 will be held at the Alliant Energy Center due to a scheduling conflict with the WIAA Boys State High School Basketball Championships.

Future years will cotinue to bring stiff competition. According to a press release from UW Sports Information, "Scheduling agreements with Boston College, Boston University, Colorado College, Denver, Miami, North Dakota and Northern Michigan are either signed or in negotiations. Additional teams will also be scheduled."

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Written by Cole Brown | 23 May 2012

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Something we haven't seen so far in our College Sports Bucket List Countdown is women's sports. Well, today is our first strike at ladies athletics as we take at look at one of best rivalries in all of Basketball.

Before we go any further, make sure you check out what happened so far on the countdown in the 80's - and if it's anything like the decade then you're in for a treat!! 

Number Game/Event Sport
No. 90 Clarkson vs. St. Lawrence DI Hockey
No. 89 DI College Soccer Cup DI Soccer
No. 88 Cinncinatti vs. Louisville FBS Football
No. 87 William & Mary vs. Richmond FCS Football
No. 86 Orange Bowl FBS Football
No. 85 DePauw vs. Wabash DIII Football
No. 84 Indiana vs. Purdue FBS Football
No. 83 Michigan vs. Michigan State DI Hockey
No. 82 UW-Whitewater vs. Mount Union DIII Football
No. 81 Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin FCS Football

Of course don't foget about the start of the countdown either - No. 100 - No. 91

No. 80 Stanford vs. Tennessee (Women's College Basketball)

This rivalry has arguably been Women's College Basketball's greatest in the past decade. Though in different conferences, these two teams have met in 24 consecutive seasons. Stanford has had more success recently, making 5 straight Final Four apperances. Tennessee's last Final Four apperance was in 2008.

A huge part of this rivalry's uniqueness has to do with the coaching battles. When Tennessee's Pat Summit and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer met, you knew it was going to be a chess match. Summit is #1 on the all time wins list with 1098, while VanDerveer is currently 5th with 861 career wins. Certaintly two obvious basketball Hall of Fame choices in the upcoming future. While always good battles, Summit and the Lady Vols are usually the ones who are going to win, holding a 23-7 record over Derveer and Stanford.

With Pat Summit announcing her retirement this past season, it looks as if this great coaching rivalry has finally came to an end. The last battle between these teams was on December 20th, 2011, where Derveer's Cardinal got the final victory in this great series with a 97-80 win over Summit at Stanford.

It isn't all about the coaches though. When these two teams meet, it's always a battle between top talent and coveted recruits. These two programs are always fighting for the top prospects. 

A memory that's still very fresh in both Volunteer and Cardinal fans is the 2008 National Championship Game. Tennessee and Stanford were the last two teams remaining in the tournament and had a battle for the Title. Tennessee - led by one of Women's Basketball's greatest ever, Candace Parker, came in to the game with a 35-2 record. The upset minded Cardinal - led by All American Candice Wiggens - entered with a 35-3 record. It was a close battle to start but in the end Tennessee's talent was too much for Stanford. The Lady Vol's came out victorious 64-48, winning Pat Summit her 8th title.

With Pat Summit retiring and Tennessee in a bit of a rebuilding process, it looks like the great two decades of this rivalry have come to an end. With Lady Vol Legend Holly Warlick taking over as head coach, the Volunteers look to build a new era of dominance. Stanford, a team still on the rise, is looking for their first championship in two decades this upcoming season. The 2012 game, being played in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville,will be the 25th straight year with meeting between these two great programs. If you want to see what Women's College Basketball is all about, seeing Tennessee and Stanford play is a must.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 23 May 2012

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Football has been the dominate force so far on our countdown, inside the 80's that is, and we're closing the door on that with yet another football game and it comes from a state where football is the unquestioned king of the hill - TEXAS. 

But let's not forget about what went down on the countdown yesterday, as we gave you a matchup that has only happened 7 times, No. 82 - Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Mount Union, with all seven meetings coming in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, a.k.a. the D3 National Championship game.  

Enough of what went on and more of what's coming, right?

No. 81: Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin (FCS Football): 

We all know that football is king in the state of Texas, but most don't recognize just how deep the rivalries run.  Now that Texas and A&M aren't playing each other it's Texas vs. Baylor as the longest continuously running rivalry in the state with the 98th meeting coming up this season.  4th on that list is the "Battle of the Piney Woods" between the Bearkats of Sam Houston State and the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin.  In addition it's the 2nd longest rivalry in all of FCS football

It's a fierce and long standing rivalry, one that's been played every year since 1923, and will be played for the 87th time this upcoming season.  Just how big of a game is it?  They've moved it to Houston's Reliant Stadium where they recently filled the stadium with over 24,000 fans for the past two versions of the "Battle of the Piney Woods". 

The series stands at 49-35-2 in favor of Sam Houston State, which won 45-10 last season on it's way to a 14-0 season and a place in the FCS National Championship game.  

What also makes this game so great is that it's full of tradition in terms of it's playing.  During the 1930's it was a Thanksgiving Day tradition and after that up to 1983 it was the teams final game of the year.  Once they moved to the Southland Conference the game was moved to October, but it's as fierce and bitter as ever.  

piney woodsOne thing you may be wondering is what the heck in the "Piney Woods?"  Well, for starters it's a trophy that's existed since the 2007 season.  The actual trophy is a 21 pound solid cedar replica of pistols from Texas' frontier past attached to a tombstone and is decorated on either side of the handle of the pistols with the school colors from each school along with a nameplate for each game over the next 20 years or so. 

The history of this game is long and full of just about everything you can think of - from shutouts to breaking undefeated streaks, to taking down ranked opponents.  It really has it all and with great alumni support this game has grown in to a must see both for it's on the field activities and what's happening at the tailgate beforehand and that's why it lands the last spot in the 80's on our countdown.

Check back later this afternoon as we begin our look into the 70's (o.k, it starts at 80, but you get the point!!). 

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 23 May 2012

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Usually you'd be seeing Cassia doing these posts, however she has gotten an amazing offer and is now working in TV land and we wish her nothing but the best.  But moving on, a lot will happen in the world of Badgers Women's sports over the next few weeks and we've even got a glimpse into the fall and winter sports for you!

Women's Track & Field is set to compete at the NCAA Preliminaries at the University of Texas.  After placing 5th at the Big Ten Championships in Madison last weekend 16 members of the Women's Track & Field team will be in Austin competing this weekend in hopes of moving on to the NCAA Finals next weekend.  

They'll be led by the "multi-event" trio of Dorcas Akinniyi, Jessica Flax, and Deanna Latham who finished 1-2-3 at the Big Ten in the Heptathlon.  That event isn't in play this weekend, but they all qualified for events on an individual basis for this weekend.  

In each individual event the Badgers will compete to make the top 12, which qualifies them for the NCAA Finals next weekend. 

Here is the list of all Qualifiers from Wisconsin and where they rank heading in to the competition: (courtesy uwbadgers.com)

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Written by Cole Brown | 22 May 2012

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Yesterday the NBA released its select list of 60 players who are invited to attend the NBA Draft Combine. Jordan Taylor was not on that list. The Draft Combine, held annually at Attack Athletics Taylorin Chicago, is the main event of the pre-draft process. The NBA invites 60 of the best players entering their names in to the draft to attend the combine. This gives the players a chance to rise their draft stock while GMs and coaches get a look at incoming talent.

What does this mean for Taylor? Well, it's makes it pretty clear that he won't be drafted. Jordan will likely get a few private workouts in with interested teams, but at this point it's very doubtful he'll be one of the 60 names called on Draft night.

Taylor has seen his stock fall dramatically the past year. After his breakout Junior season, many experts had him as lottery pick for the 2011 draft. When he announced he would return for his Senior year at Wisconsin, he still was considered a lock as a first round pick for the 2012 draft. After a bit of a disappointing senior year, many experts still had him as a early second round pick. 

Scouts say that Taylor is too small and lacks "star power", which is pretty much the ability to take over the game. Jordan Taylor will still have some time to prove himself to an NBA team though. The draft isn't until June 28th, so he'll have about a months time to convince an NBA team to use their pick on him.

It will be interesting to see if he gets an invite to Summer League basketball or if he just decides to head overseas should his name not be called on June 28th.

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Written by Andrew Coppens | 22 May 2012

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One thing that hasn't happened much so far in the journey through the best that college sports has to offer in the MTB College Sports Bucket List is a lot of Wisconsin.  Sure we've featured MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering), but that seems so long ago (No. 99). Well, that changes a bit today as we feature a public university from the home state today. 

Before we move on, don't forget to check out No. 83 from yesterday - Michigan vs. Michigan State in Hockey!

On to the task at hand though....

No. 82 - Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Mount Union: 

I'm guessing you never thought you'd see this game on the list because it's not guaranteed every year.  Well, the way these two teams have been clipping off national championship game appearances in the past decade it's understandable as to how this one made it on the list and pretty high up there for a DIII game.

The UWW Warhawks and Mount Union Purple Raiders have never met anywhwere but in the AmosUWW vs. Mount Union Alonzo Stagg Bowl (D3 Championship game) for the last seven years in a row.  Yes, that's not a mis-print, SEVEN YEARS in a row.  So far this century they've combined to make 18 of a possible 22 appearances in the Stagg Bowl and that's just a ridiculous amount of dominance on a national level.  In fact, the dominance is such that before they met for the past seven seasons not a single pair of teams had even met in back to back seasons in the Stagg Bowl.

It's not just that they've met for that many years straight or that they've done something no other pairs of schools have done that makes this a must see game, it's the quality of the on the field product and the fact that the games have been slug fests to say the least.  Going into last years meeting the largest margin of victory between the two schools was just 19 points and belonged to Mount Union in the 2006 national championship game.  

Right now Wisconsin-Whitewater holds a three game winning streak and thus is a three time defending national champion.  Overall UWW has won the 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 titles and Mount Union has the 2005, 2006, and 2008 titles.  However, Mount Union has a bit more history with the national championship than the Warhawks.  They are the winners of 10 national championships in school history (1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 are the others).

You can't really beat seeing two of the best teams in their division playing against each other year in and year out to see who really is the best.  It's what makes the NCAA football playoffs attractive to true leatherheads out there and why seeing these two go at it in Salem, VA is a must see for any true college football fan out there.

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Written by Nate Woelfel | 22 May 2012

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Badger football will once again tangle with Nebraska under the lights and on national television. It was announced Tuesday that the game at Memorial Stadium on September 29 will be at 7 p.m. and televised on ABC.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema is one of the top-three Big Ten coaching villains according to a poll conducted by ESPN. He joins Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio atop the list.

In brighter football news, running back Montee Ball was named the top returning Big Ten Player by ESPN's Brian Bennett. Linebacker Chris Borland comes in at No. 8.

Moving to the hardwood, it was reported Tuesday the Jordan Taylor was not one of the 60 players invited to the NBA Draft Combine July7-8 in Chicago. This is a serious blow to Taylor's draft chances. 

As many Wisconsin residents can attest, summer is construction season. The UW campus is no exception. Work is well underway on two major projects that affect the athletic department. Camp Randall Stadium is getting a new playing surface for the 2012 season while the floor is being installed in the new La Bahn Arena.

According to Chuck Schwartz of Bucky's 5th Quarter. Wisconsin an Penn State will face off in a non-conference hockey series next season. However, due to the WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament, the series will be played on Sunday and Monday (February 24-25) instead of the usual Friday/Saturday format. The full men's hockey schedule is expected to be released tomorrow.

Two Badgers will have a chance to make their mark on the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Former Wisconsin rowers Grant and Ross James will represent the United States in the men's eight after winning the event at the 2012 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland on Tuesday. 2012 will mark the 12th-consecutive time that Badger rowers have qualified for the Olympics.

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