Wisconsin Badgers

Michelle Maternowski

It was a heartbreaking night as the Wisconsin Badgers lost to Duke in the championship game of the men’s NCAA Finals. The Blue Devils beat Wisconsin 68-63.

Despite the disappointing finale, people at a local sports bar said the Badgers’ lengthy run added activity to their lives. Jesse Weathersby admits he’s done extra indulging during the Badgers’ extended season.

“More eating, how does that sound? Not too much cooking, a little bit of drinking, but mostly more eating,” Weathersby says.

In a back-and-forth game, the Duke Blue Devils eked out a 68-63 win, and an NCAA men's basketball championship, against the Wisconsin Badgers on Monday night in Indianapolis.

Duke normally has been led by freshmen and projected top-10 NBA draft picks Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow. Monday night, the top scorers were two other freshman: starting guard Tyus Jones, who scored 23 points — including 19 in the second half — and bench guard Grayson Allen, who scored 16.

Jones was named the player of the game; it's only the fifth time a freshman has won the honor.

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As Wisconsin takes on Duke Monday night for the NCAA men's college basketball title, here are five reasons to be even more excited for the big game.

74 Years

Wisconsin hasn't won a national title since 1941. Basketball was a much different game back then...

Frank The Tank

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One "Badger bar" located outside the Badger State is Mad River Bar and Grille in New York. Big crowds have gathered there to watch the men's basketball team dance through the NCAA tournament.

The bar has dressed itself up to replicate the ambiance of State Street in Madison and served-up its traditional game fare: brats, Wisconsin beer and cheese curds.

Many staffers are UW grads, while the DJ cues up Varsity and other Badger songs often heard during the fifth quarter, following the school's football games.

Not since the World War II era has Wisconsin vied for the NCAA's top men's basketball championship. They'll do it tonight against Duke, in a game that pits two balanced teams — and two talented big men — against each other.

For Wisconsin, a win will bring its first title since 1941. Perennial power Duke last won it all in 2010. Tipoff at 9:18 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on CBS or at the NCAA website.

Wisconsin defeated Kentucky 71-64 in Saturday's nail-biter second Final Four game Saturday, breaking the Wildcats' winning streak; the Badgers meet Duke to play for the men's college basketball title.

The faceoff between Kentucky and Wisconsin, both top-seeded teams, was highly anticipated. On the line for the undefeated Wildcats: their shot at men's college basketball's first perfect season since 1976.

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Badger basketball fans have even more reason to celebrate. The University of Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky is the Associated Press' player of the year.

The 7-foot forward was a runaway favorite and is the first Wisconsin player to win the award.

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Last weekend, the Green Bay Packers got through the closest game they’ve played in a while.