ALBUQUERQUE, NM - MARCH 17: Head coach Mark Johnson of the Wisconsin Badgers and the bench watch play during the first half of the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at The Pit on March 17, 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Syracuse Orange and Wisconsin Badgers aren't terribly familiar with one another. We've only played twice and the last time was over a decade ago. So it's high time we get reacquainted before Thursday's Sweet Sixteen showdown in Boston.
We have to go back to 1927 for the first meeting between the two schools. Vic Hanson led what was a pretty solid Orangemen squad (15-4) into Madison but the blimp trip (assumed mode of transportation) really affected the team and they dropped a 31-24 barnburner to the Badgers.
The game was part of a Midwestern road trip for the defending Helms Foundation National Champions, which saw SU take on and lose to Michigan and UW. And you wonder why we never leave the Dome in December...
The last time these two teams met was 1999. It was the second game of the season for the Orange and it was an easy victory in the Dome thanks to 23 points from Ryan Blackwell. The No. 17 Orange topped the Badgers 68-49 in what was the finals of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Classic.
And now, 85 years after the first meeting, we'll find out who wins this best-of-three series and advances.