UPDATE: Expectations still high as Badgers depart for Final Four - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Expectations still high as Badgers depart for Final Four

Posted: Updated: Apr 02, 2014 09:45 PM
MADISON (WKOW) -- The Badger men's basketball team left for the NCAA Final Four in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday afternoon.

A couple dozen fans lined up on Dayton Street, in front of the Kohl Center, to see the Badgers off.

"It's important to show them that we're excited, we know they can (win) it and we're behind them," said senior Kelsey Keenan. 

The team bus transported players to a local air strip where they boarded a plane bound for Texas.

Keenan said she will be traveling to the Final Four to watch the team play Kentucky in Saturday's national semifinal.

"I'm excited," Keenan said. "They're going to win. Then they're going to go to the championship game and win that."

Also leaving for Texas Wednesday were members of the UW band.

"If you would have told me, my freshman year, that I was going to be headed to the Final Four as part of the band, I wouldn't have believed you," said fifth-year senior Dylan Rounds.

"It's been a crazy, memorable, amazing experience," he said.

"It's been absolutely electric (on campus)," said band member Andrew Kerber.

"Everybody's been talking about the Final Four nonstop," Kerber said. "Everyone I've talked to has been so jealous I'm going."

Rounds said the UW band is made up of about 300 students. But only a select few, about 30 or so, get to travel and play in the Final Four.
"It's all based on seniority," he said, "and how many games you go to throughout the season."

"So if you want to get on these trips you have to get to as many home games as you can," Rounds said.

Tip off against Kentucky is scheduled for just before 8 p.m. CST Saturday night.

Madison (WKOW)-- The Badger basketball team has left on a jet plane. We don't know when they'll be back again. A win Saturday would mean a likely trip back home on Tuesday, which is what fans and alums are hoping for. An early flight home could only mean one thing, a disappointing loss in the first round to Kentucky, but fans say they don't want to dwell on the negative.

The team loaded their bus at the Kohl Center Wednesday afternoon and made their way to Wisconsin Aviation for their flight. About a hundred people boarded the plane including players, coaches, band members and university officials. Coach Bo Ryan was the first to board the plane. He waved at reporters and airport officials as he walked on to the plane smiling ear to ear. The trip to Dallas will be his first time competing in the Final Four tournament as a coach.

The UW-Madison band sent 30 members down to Dallas. Members say they are chosen based on seniority and experience. Students at the airport say there are more than 300 members in the band, so you only have a 10% chance of being chosen for the trip.

The flight left Wisconsin Aviation at 5:55 pm Wednesday. Airport officials say the trip to Dallas takes a little over 2 hours. The team is expected to land in shortly after 8:00 p.m.

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