I'm proud to have been born and raised in Madison, WI. I'm proud to be a three degree alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
And, win or lose, I'm proud of what this basketball team accomplished this season.
But I'm precisely proud of them because, more than most teams that compete at that level, a significant portion of this basketball team are actually from Wisconsin!
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm well aware that without the contribution of Frank Kaminsky (from Lisle, IL), we simply wouldn't be there tonight!
But note the following comparison of the teams.
Of the sixteen players on the UW's roster this year, seven of them are actually from Wisconsin! Another five, including Kaminsky, are from states that border on Wisconsin.
Compare those facts to the composition of the Duke team we will face tonight. Of the eleven players on Duke's roster this year, only one is from North Carolina. And not a single other player is even from a state that borders North Carolina.
Bo Ryan may not have been born in Wisconsin, but he has lived and worked in Wisconsin since 1976, so we're proud to claim him too!
I'll add the final point that athletes at the University of Wisconsin have a graduation rate well beyond most schools that play at this level.
Good luck tonight, gentlemen. Win or lose, you have made us proud of our State and Our School.