SEASON RECAP: The Wisconsin Badgers Have A Lot Of Soul Searching To Do After Oregon Loss

(Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports - via Reuters)

David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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It’s time for the Wisconsin Badgers to take a hard look in the mirror, and I’m not sure we’re going to like whatever it is that we end up seeing.

Following our embarrassing loss to Oregon late Friday afternoon in the NCAA tournament, I got out some quick reactions and thoughts. It wasn’t pretty and we shouldn’t be happy. Fans should be disappointed. We should be upset. Anybody who swallowed that loss and is fine isn’t paying attention. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

This is the University of Wisconsin we’re talking about. It’s the crown jewel of the Midwest over the past 25 years. Not a single school in America has more tournament appearances and bowl games appearances than us in the past quarter century.

Yet, we fail to capitalize when it counts.

I’ve taken some time to think about what has happened, so now I’m attacking this with a rational angle and it’s clear to me something has to change.

I’m not saying we have to fire Greg Gard. I don’t think that’s a smart idea at all. What I do think is dangerous and completely unacceptable is the idea that fans should be content with just making the tournament or winning nine football games a season. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Neither is okay, and neither will ever be tolerated as long as I have a say in what’s going on. We expect to contend yearly for conference champions and national titles in both sports. This past season wasn’t where we need to be in both sports.

Yes, I’m aware that we still had a better basketball season than about 90 percent of the country. We won 23 games this season, but it’s just not good enough. I know most teams would trade places with us in a heartbeat. That’s not the point.

We should be better than 95 percent of the country in our default setting. We’re a top one percent program in both sports when we show up and show out.

My Badgers have to get back to where we were under Bo Ryan when it comes to basketball, and we absolutely have to get back to double digit wins in football. Looking in the mirror and acknowledging failure isn’t ever easy. It’s just not, but it’s necessary.

Major shoutout to Ethan Happ for the past few years. He won’t ever be forgotten. As for the rest of us, there needs to be some serious inward looking to find out where it’s gone wrong and how to stop it from happening ever again.

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