Bo Ryan is finally coaching in the Final Four!
In his 13th season as the Badgers' coach, he is just two wins away from a national championship. He has led Wisconsin to the big dance every season since arriving in Madison for the 2001-02 campaign. Prior to Saturday, Ryan had one Elite Eight appearance, a 2005 loss to North Carolina.
There was quite the celebration on State Street in Madison, baby! Wisconsin is in the Final Four for the first time since 2000.
The victory was emotional for Ryan. He had a history of attending the Final Four as a spectator with his father, who passed away in August 2013. You could see tears welling in his eyes when he was asked about that in a postgame interview.
Frank Kaminsky was the star of stars in the West Regional final with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Arizona did not have an answer for him, failing to find someone to guard the big man. Kaminsky scored inside and outside, dominating in clutch situations.
He is the most improved player in America. Remember, he averaged just 4.2 points per game last season.
That shows how Ryan develops talent.
I love the offensive efficiency of this Badger team. This is Ryan's most impressive team since taking over the program.
Kaminsky is a major factor, but he is not alone. Wisconsin has three guards capable of handling the rock and distributing in Josh Gasser, Traevon Jackson and Ben Brust. Sam Dekker can score on the baseline. Diaper dandy Nigel Hayes has tremendous athletic ability and will be a star in the future.
Then there is the tenacious Badger defense. Wisconsin held Arizona below 40 percent from the field in the regional final. The Badgers clamped down on freshman standout Aaron Gordon, holding him to 3-for-11 shooting from the field.
Wisconsin is extremely dangerous when it has the lead. This team can hit its free throws, including 10-of-12 versus the Wildcats. For the season, the Badgers are around 75 percent from the foul line.
This season was a roller-coaster ride. Wisconsin started 16-0, then lost five out of six. The Badgers got back on track, closing 13-2 in their past 15 games.
Any time you can score wins over Florida, Virginia, Michigan and Michigan State, it is a great season.
Now the Badgers want more. They will try to get it in Texas!
Here's a salute to Bo Ryan and his squad.