Wisconsin Basketball NCAA Tournament & Final Four History

The Wisconsin Badgers reached the Final Four for the first time in Ryan's tenure in 2014. (Getty)

The Wisconsin Badgers reached the Final Four for the first time in Bo Ryan’s tenure in 2014. (Getty)

For the 2nd consecutive season, head coach Bo Ryan has the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four — once again playing John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats in the National Semifinal — as the program looks to win the 2nd National Championship in its history.

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball program officially began in 1898. For the 1st 100-plus seasons, Wisconsin was a mediocre, middle-of-the-pack major conference program. Under the old 8-team system with two regions of four teams apiece, Wisconsin made the Elite Eight twice. The Badgers only Championship came in 1941.

In 2000, Wisconsin made a surprise run to the Final Four as a No. 8 seed under the 64-team format before losing to the No. 1 seed Michigan State Spartans in the National Semifinal.

Here is a list of all of Wisconsin’s NCAA Tournament accomplishments:


NCAA Tournament Appearances:

21
Years: 1941, 1947, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015


Sweet 16 Appearances:

8
Years: 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015


Elite Eight Appearances:

6
Years: 1941, 1947, 2000, 2005, 2014, 2015


Final Four Appearances:

4
Years: 1941, 2000, 2014, 2015


Despite playing in the Big Ten Conference, Wisconsin’s history is not as rich as some of its other conference opponents including: Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana and Michigan, although the program still has the same amount of National Championships (1) as Michigan, Ohio State and Maryland.

After Bo Ryan was hired in 2002, the program underwent a catastrophic shift and became one of the border-line elite programs in all of Division I. Ryan has made the NCAA Tournament in each of his 14 seasons at Madison. He has made the Sweet 16 seven times, the Elite Eight three times — as the Tournament’s 68-team format is currently constructed — and Final Four twice (2014 and 2015).


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