Fans and celebrities share some love for the Badger basketball t - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fans and celebrities share some love for the Badger basketball team

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Madison (WKOW)-- Badger fans are showing a lot of heart one day after a tough loss to Kentucky Saturday night. The game didn't exactly go as planned, but the Badger basketball team can take pride in knowing that win or lose their loyal fan base has their back.

For those who missed Saturday night's heartbreaking loss, you wouldn't know it walking down State Street Saturday night. Fans cheered loudly despite the disappointing ending, showing support for a team that has given them more than they ever expected.

"They went so far when people didn't think they'd get this far. The team really worked well together," fan Mary Dolan says.

UW students say a few thousand people gathered on State Street to show school spirit and support for the losing team. The Madison Police Department prepared for Saturday night's celebration by scheduling additional officers to patrol the streets in downtown. More than 10,000 gathered for a similar celebration last weekend, but officials say significantly less fans showed up Saturday night.

Besides the occasional student getting a little carried away by climbing up on light poles and construction material, Madison police say for the most part the gathering was uneventful. Police say no one was arrested and no property damage has been reported.

"It was crazy. People were everywhere. It was still cool to have the support even though we didn't come out with a win. It was cool to be supportive and everyone was together on State Street," fan Courtney Spangler says.

Support for the team has blown up on social media. ESPN sports analyst Scott Van Pelt tweeted, "It's no secret I have a lot of love for Madison, which means I feel for you Bucky. When the tears dry, be proud and salute."

Former Green Bay Packer Donald Driver also joined in with the praise tweeting, "Wow...I would like to say congratulations to the UWBadgers for the hard work in getting this far."

Many players on the team also lit up Twitter with messages of thanks and praise.

Freshman guard Riley Dearring says, "Great season. I will cherish every minute! I love my teammates. We have great seniors! Awesome group! Now it's time to get on the grind!"

Sophomore Sam Dekker adds, "What a year. Can't believe it. Thank you #BadgerNation for the unreal support. The work to bring it back next year starts now. #badgers"
 
The Badger basketball team landed back home in Madison early Sunday morning. Many players say they're already looking forward to getting back to the tournament next year.


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