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Badgers a close-knit team: They have a lot of fun, but they’ll be serious come tip-off Saturday evening

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MADISON/INDIANAPOLIS (WITI) — We’re four days away from the Wisconsin Badgers big matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four — and just one day away from the Badgers send-off pep rally at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Wisconsin Badgers will be all business when they play Kentucky Saturday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but this is a team that knows how to have fun and stay loose off the court.

The Badgers men’s basketball team is a very close-knit one. These guys love each other, and they take digs at each other as well as the media. It is part of their charm.

“I feel bad for the kids who try to make signs for me, and they spell my last name wrong. Their parents obviously didn’t push them in the right direction there,” Badgers forward Sam Dekker said.

“Sitting up here in front of you guys (the media) gets pretty boring, so whenever we get an opportunity to actually go out and do something — that’s fun, and there’s something that we actually get out of it. It’s a lot of fun,” Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky said.

Kaminsky is a first team All-American with a great shot to be a national player of the year, but frankly speaking, he’s all about Captain America — Josh Gasser, the heart and soul of the team.

“Credit Frank for the Captain America nickname. It`s Josh`s identity. Just to give you an example, in that Arizona game Nigel threw that awful pass to Sam down the court. It seemed like Arizona was going to get it, then Josh came out of nowhere and picked up the ball. Just plays that Josh makes like that really help us to win basketball games. Plays that a lot of people don`t necessarily see that literally change the course of the game. He`s my hero. Josh has been my hero for a long time. Ever since I got on campus I`ve been following Josh around, so he`s just somebody you look up to. Someone you love having lead your team,” Kaminsky said.

“You know, I thought about doing like, a reality show (with the players). It’s amazing that they can do what they do, and still, when it comes to practice time, ‘I’m going to kick your butt. I want you to try and kick mine, but I’m going to get yours,’ and then go into the locker room and then argue again about who’s the best video player,” Badgers Head Coach Bo Ryan said.

These guys have a lot of fun both on and off the court — but when Saturday evening comes, it’ll be time to get serious as they hope to move into the championship game.

The Badgers face the Kentucky Wildcats in a Final Four matchup on Saturday, April 4th. Tip-off is set for 7:49 p.m. WATCH for FOX6’s Brandon Cruz’s Badgers reports beginning Thursday, April 2nd from Indianapolis.

Fans are invited to join the team for a FREE pep rally/send off at the Kohl Center on Wednesday. Gates will open at 5 p.m. The rally itself kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and will feature head coach Bo Ryan and the team.

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