Wisconsin Basketball fans should remember last year’s game against Xavier.
Allow me to be petty for a few moments.
Last year’s game between these two programs was early in the season before we knew how either team’s fortunes would unfold. Turns out Xavier ended up being one of the best teams in the country and Wisconsin would finish worse than .500 and miss the NCAA Tournament. Watching this game in real time, you would have never known.
There was more than just the play on the court that made this game one to remember though. Wisconsin Basketball fans gave Xavier all they could handle in last year’s matchup. Wisconsin fans are some of the most passionate out there and they make their presence known to the opposition. And in a setting like a college basketball game, sometimes they can have it dished right back to them.
It’s very fortunate for Xavier that this Tuesday’s game won’t be played in Madison. I’m sure everybody in Badger nation hasn’t forgotten what happened. Revenge is on the mind of those in Cardinal and White.
Macura was the primary offender from the Xavier hoops team. He was called names I won’t repeat here all night and he eventually had enough. When he broke out the signature Florida Gators chomp, the internet broke.
Wisconsin’s sour memories of a buzzer-beater loss to Florida in the tournament two years ago were brought back by Macura as the final seconds wound down on a Wisconsin loss. Props to Macura for being so clever and Xavier for being so tough. Not everybody goes to Madison and comes out victorious in that fashion.
But now the favor can be returned. How unfortunate for Xavier that they happened to also lose in heartbreaking fashion to a Florida school with a signature hand motion in the tournament last year. As a 1 seed having the best season in program history, Xavier lost to 9 seed Florida State effectively ending Macura’s career just a few weekends ahead of schedule.
Adding insult to injury, Xavier’s head coach Chris Mack decided it was best for him to move on from Xavier after the year. Xavier is Mack’s alma mater, at the height of its powers in the Big East and had just seen the best season in program history. And he left it all for Lousiville, a program marred by scandal in the toughest, best conference in college basketball.
So no matter how petty it may sound, I want all Wisconsin Basketball fans who may be making the trip to Cincinnati for Tuesday’s game to bring their Tomahawk Chops with them. As for the players, I can’t pinpoint anybody on the team who has the potential to taunt the opposing student section as Macura did a year ago. But just about every Badger was there for it last year.
In the spirit of gamesmanship, I hope to see a Chop from at least one Badger. It’s only right. Return the favor.