Badgers blaze path for Wisconsin teams of the future - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers blaze path for Wisconsin teams of the future

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WKOW) -- Wisconsin's road ended one win short of a national title, but what a two year run. Back-to-back appearances at the Final Four for the first time in program history. An historic run that will be talked about for decades. Moments after their loss to Duke, the Badgers walked off the court with their heads hanging, knowing how close they got to their final goal, but in time the heights these Badgers brought their program will be realized.

"We accomplished a lot. Myself this team, all my teams in my career, so it's been a great ride. I've enjoyed every second of it," Wisconsin senior Josh Gasser said.

"Hopefully we set a standard for Wisconsin basketball to come as far as cutting down nets, winning championships," Wisconsin senior Duje Dukan said.

Frank Kaminsky and Josh Gasser among the four seniors who played their last game as Badgers.
Additionally, with his emergence in the NCAA Tournament, it's expected Sam Dekker will be gone as well.

I'm just going to weigh my options and make a committed decision and go on from there," Dekker said.

If Dekker leaves, the experienced sophomore class will be expected to lead the future, with Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes carrying the load.

"I'm no where good enough to do anything besides come back," Hayes said.

"Come next year because of all the work we'll definitely put in because of this, this is just going to add more fuel to our fire and I think we're definitely ready to go."

With four seniors gone, some of the unknowns will be expected to emerge from the shadows.

"I think Ethan Happ will be a really good player for us down low and I think Jordan Hill will be a really tough competitor," Koenig said.

The end of the road for the 2015 Badgers didn't end the way they wanted, but this group blazed quite the path for Wisconsin teams of the future.

"We did a lot of good things. Now I think it's up to the guys next year and the years after that to build on what we've done," Wisconsin senior Traevon Jackson said.

"Obviously we didn't win the whole thing this year which is tough, but hopefully these guys can make it to more Final Fours down the road," Dukan said.

Next year's team won't begin with the same expectations, but this Wisconsin program has an amazing run of consistency. 17 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, that standard won't change, and as we know if you can make it to the dance, just about anything can happen.
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