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The Badgers bright future

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WKOW) -- The Badgers weren't in much of a mood for full reflection last night, knowing they basically gave away a chance at the programs third straight trip to the Elite Eight. But in due time they will come to realize how remarkable their trip to Philadelphia really was and how it's paved the way for a bright future.

The Badgers were in disbelief walking off the court as their tournament run came to a heartbreaking close, but what a run it was. Wisconsin went from a 500 team in January to one of the final 16 still dancing heading into Friday's game. 

"Most people thought it was a lost season or a rebuilding season or whatever you want to call it but we kind of shocked the country, " junior guard Bronson Koenig said after their 61-56 loss to Notre Dame Friday night, "It's kind of tough right now but in a few weeks i think we'll look back at this season as a success."

It was a run that looks to have set up a strong future with Greg Gard as head coach, particularly if Nigel Hayes comes back for his senior season.
A decision, he says, he has not yet made.

"Everyone has a decision to make about next season anyone on this team could leave if that's what you're referring to," the junior forward said when speaking to media in the locker room, "I'm more worried about being here to console the guys."

If Hayes does return, the Badgers will basically have everyone back, including seven freshmen who all expect to bounce back better than ever. Ethan Happ, who was redshirt freshman this season, is already looking froward to it.

"We have a great group of guys here and I wouldn't expect anything less than for us to get it done in the off-season and come back strong next year."

Junior guard Zak Showalter agrees that the results of this season will fuel them next year.

"This mini run really shows people what this team can do we've got a lot of guys coming back and keep going from here."

The Badgers will also have the additions of Andy Van Vliet and Brevin Pritzl, two talented freshmen who sat out this season and both of whom are expected to be valuable additions to next year's rotation.

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