|Bucky Badger 2015 photo|
Millions watched with their eyes. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin fans experienced it with their hearts.
Just the players and coaches feel it in their souls.
Florida 84, Wisconsin 83 - overtime in the East Regional Semi-Final.
It wasn't the Wisconsin team at the top of their game (too many turnovers and missed shots), but the usual grit and determination was on hand.
The reason this hurts so much is the promise and spirit this group of young men brought to the game.
The defeat of top-seed Villanova demonstrated their potential.
I've written about how well Badger men's basketball has performed starting in 1994 when the team went to the NCAA tournament for the first time in decades.
Now, the tournament is expected. Frankly fans are satisfied with a berth - the goal is the title.
When Bucky's boys battled back to tie it at the end of regulation, the look on Florida's bench made it appear to be Wisconsin's game.
Leading by two with 4 seconds to play in overtime; those pesky Gators had their own bit of magic as a desperation three point prayer was answered.
Thanks to Nigel Hayes; Bronson Koenig; Vitto Brown; and Zac Showalter - a group of seniors who re-wrote the book when it came to Badger buckets and everyone's hoop dreams.
I went to bed after the game Friday night listening to the post-mortem radio call-in show. Everyone had a thought of how the Badgers win if only one thing was done differently.
A made basket.
A defensive stop.
The 2016 - 17 season is history.
More amazing to me than this run of success in my lifetime is the new day of expectations.
I would of heard laughter from Wisconsin fans forever back in the 1970s or 80s if I said or wrote this... but now it seems quite reasonable to think there is a high likelihood I'll see Wisconsin Men's Basketball team bring a National Title home.
Nice job, Bucky. Go Badgers!