This is the 15th consecutive athletic season in which Wisconsin has made both the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and a college football bowl game. The Badgers extended the streak with a Cotton Bowl berth (and victory over P.J. Fleck-coached Western Michigan) as well as earning the No. 8 seed in this year’s men’s basketball tournament, where they will face No. 9 Virginia Tech at 8:40 p.m. Thursday (Ch. 4).
Not only is that the longest active streak of any school achieving both of those postseason feats, but also it is the longest such streak in history.
The next-longest in history? Texas, which did it 12 consecutive years from 1999-2010.
The next-longest active streak? Baylor and North Carolina, who are tied at four.
So yes, Wisconsin’s active streak is 11 seasons longer than any other school. And the Badgers have been to three Rose Bowls and two Final Fours during that run as well.
Not surprisingly, the Badgers have the most combined bowl game and NCAA tourney appearances since 1996 of any school, checking in at 40.
To put that in local perspective, in the last 15 seasons, the Gophers have made five NCAA men’s basketball tournaments and 12 bowl games. Their longest streak in that span of having both teams reach the NCAA tourney and a bowl game was two — back-to-back in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Minnesota will hope to embark on a longer streak starting this year. The meter sits at one and counting.