Madison (WQOW) --The phrase, "Everything's bigger in Texas," applies to the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four.
Badgers players are preparing for the biggest game of their lives, a national semifinal against Kentucky. It will be a media circus leading up to the game, and organizers expect as many as 85,000 people in the stands, Saturday.
It'll be a big-time stage, for sure, but the Badgers say, for them, it's still just a basketball game.
"Once the game starts," says Wisconsin junior guard Josh Gasser, "all the media, all the nonsense throughout the week, it's kind of thrown out the window. So it's not any more pressure. It's still a 40-minute game. It's still a 10-foot hoop. Everything's the same."
"I think that it's more fun the farther we go," says Wisconsin junior guard Traevon Jackson, "it's not more pressure actually, I don't feel like personally. And I can say the same thing for our team. We're just enjoying the moment and just try to get better every day."
A Final Four trip seemed far-fetched earlier this season when Wisconsin dropped five of six games, but players say that struggle helped them grow.
"We've gone through this ride together," says Wisconsin sophomore forward Sam Dekker, "we've gone through the ups and downs and haven't broken apart. That's what makes a special team."
"I said before, you can learn a lot more from losses than wins sometimes," Gasser says, "it can kind of wake you up a little bit. I definitely think losing five of six, it wasn't fun at the time. But ultimately I think it helped us in the end. It helped us get to this point."
WQOW News 18 Sports Director Bob Bradovich will travel to North Texas later this week. His reports will begin on Thursday. Bob will also be part of a special half-hour preview show on the Badgers, which will air Friday at 6:30 P.M.
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