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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The 101 Wisconsin names associated with March Madness


Tis the season for buzzer beaters, bracket busting, Cinderella stories and moments with the entire season on the line.

From state alumni who went on to tourney greatness to standouts with the home-state schools, these are 101 names to know from the history of Wisconsin's involvement in the NCAA Tournament. It's not a true "ranking" and not fully comprehensive, but you'll find a lot of memories herein (and maybe some you never knew about).

The singular performance

1. Arike Ogunbowale (Divine Savior Holy Angels)

There’s never been anything like it and may never be again. Playing for Notre Dame, Ogunbowale authored a dramatic championship-winning performance in 2018, first hitting the game winning shot against undefeated Connecticut in the semifinals and then the winner against Mississippi State just before the buzzer for the title.

She combined for 45 points over the two games alone, wound up chatting with Kobe Bryant, appeared on Dancing With the Stars and led Notre Dame back to the championship game in 2019 for good measure, an 82-81 loss to Baylor (and another semifinal win over UCONN). She became the all-time leading scorer in Notre Dame history along the way and averaged 25.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in six tourney games as a senior, the fourth most all-time points (155) in a tournament.

She was named all-region three times in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Her 414 points in her career in NCAA Tournament games is sixth all time, behind luminaries Chamique Holdsclaw, Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Diana Taurasi.

The champions

2-3. John Kotz (Rhinelander and Wisconsin) and Gene Englund (Kenosha and Wisconsin)

The NCAA Tournament was a different animal in 1941, but it still counts. Kotz scored 37 points over three games to earn tournament MVP, and Englund scored 42 in that same window. The Badgers defeated Washington State in the final, 39-34. Fred Rehm (Milwaukee Pulaski) was the third starter from the state.

4. Bill McClintock (Milwaukee West)

In 1959, he secured a game-high 10 rebounds and scored eight points as California upset West Virginia (led by Jerry West) for the NCAA title, 71-70. McClintock was named to the 1960 all-regional team before Cal lost to Ohio State in the championship game.

5. Chuck Wood (Racine St. Catherine’s)

He didn’t play in the final but was the only sub to play in all four of Loyola’s four other tournament games when the Ramblers in 1963.

6. Bo Ellis (Marquette)

A member of the all-Final Four team in 1977, Ellis helped lead the Warriors to the national championship and was a fixture on both of Marquette’s runs to the Final Four in the 1970s. He scored 14 in the championship-game win over North Carolina that year, with nine rebounds and three assists. He also scored 56 points in the first three games of the tourney, an average of 18.7 points per game on his way to an all-region acknowledgement. He was all-region as a freshman in 1974, as well, averaging 15.7 points in the first three rounds with 9.3 rebounds to get Marquette to the Final Four. He posted 12 points and 11 rebounds in the national-title game that year, a loss to NC State. He also registered five blocks against Kentucky in 197, along with 19 points and seven rebounds in an opening-game loss. All told, he posted 10 NCAA games with double-figure scoring.

7. Butch Lee (Marquette)

The Most Outstanding Player of the 1977 Final Four scored 19 points in national title game, leading his team to victory over North Carolina and the NCAA championship. The all-region choice that year averaged 17.6 points in five NCAA games, including 26 in a tense win over Kansas State. His pass to Jerome Whitehead from the other baseline set up the winning basket just before the buzzer in a national-semifinal win against Charlotte. Lee added 27 points in the 1978 opener against Miami of Ohio, a game Marquette lost, 84-81.

8. Jerome Whitehead (Marquette)

Whitehead took a full-court pass from Butch Lee and flung in a basket right at the buzzer as Marquette won the national semifinal contest, 51-49. He finished the game with 21 points and 16 rebounds, a monumental effort that helped Marquette reach its second Final Four. The selection to the 1977 all-Final Four team also added eight points and 11 rebounds in a win two nights later over North Carolina that gave MU the NCAA championship. Whitehead finished his career with five double-figures scoring performances in NCAA Tournaments.

9. Bernard Toone (Marquette)

As a sophomore, he came off the bench to score 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting to help Marquette beat Wake Forest in the Sweet 16 of the 1977 championship run. He hit double figures in each of the remaining three NCAA games in his career, scoring 26 against DePaul in a second-round loss in 1979. He famously had a tempestuous relationship with coach Al McGuire.

10. Jim Boylan (Marquette)

A steady contributor on the 1977 championship team who ramped up in the Final Four, scoring eight points with six assists in the national semifinal against Charlotte and adding 14 points in the final with North Carolina for his lone double-figure performance in that tournament. He added 15 points and five assists in a first-round loss to Miami of Ohio in 1978 and eventually became interim head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.

11. Todd Meier (Oshkosh Lourdes)

He came off the bench when Indiana won the 1987 championship, even though he only saw seven minutes of action in the Final Four.

12. Paulette Stall (La Crosse Aquinas)

She didn't play in the 1988 championship game for Louisiana Tech when her squad won the title, but she was back in 1989 as a first-team All Conference player when Tech went back to the national final.

13. Sonja Henning (Racine Horlick)

The All-American at Stanford led the Cardinal to the national championship in 1990 during her junior year with a massive title-game performance in an 88-81 win over Auburn, scoring 21 points with nine rebounds and hitting big shots down the stretch. That wasn’t typically her game; she averaged 8.8 points per game and served as a true point guard. Somehow, she wasn’t named to the all-tournament team, but as a senior, she was, when she led the Cardinal back to the semifinals. Martha Richards (Hudson) also played on the title team. Henning fashioned a triple double in the 1991 tournament (19 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in a second-round game against Cal State Fullerton. Henning scored 18 points with eight rebounds in a semifinal loss to Tennessee in her final NCAA game. She was named all-region in 1988 and 1991. Her 13 assists in 1990 against Arkansas are among the most in an NCAA Tournament game.

14. Phillip Nolan (Milwaukee Riverside)

The four-year player at UCONN was a defender and seldom produced numbers that popped off the page, but he started all six of UCONN’s NCAA Tournament games in 2014 when the Huskies won the national championship, even though he only averaged 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in the tourney.

The stars of the Final Four

15. Maurice Lucas (Marquette)

He scored 21 points in a loss to NC State in the 1974 final, with 13 rebounds, netting a spot on the All-Final Four squad. In his two years at Marquette, he was dazzling in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 18.7 points and 12 rebounds over three games in the 1973 tournament, including a 20 point and 19 rebound effort against Austin Peay and a 24, 12, and seven assist showing against Miami. In 1974, he averaged 16 points and 10.6 rebounds while producing four double-doubles in five games. He added four blocks in the national semifinal against Kansas for good measure, accompanying his 18-point, 14-rebound effort in a 64-51 win.

16. Bill Hanzlik (Beloit)

He saw four NCAA Tournaments at Notre Dame under Digger Phelps, making the Final Four as a sophomore. As a junior in 1979, he was named all-region after averaging 16.3 points in three games (though Notre Dame lost to Magic Johnson and Michigan State in the regional final).

17. Nick Van Exel (Kenosha St. Joseph)

In 1992, he led Cincinnati with 21 points and tied a school single-game tourney record with four steals in a 76-72 loss to Michigan in the Final Four. Van Exel averaged 15.8 points for the Bearcats in their five tournament games and earned a spot on the all-region team.

18. Jon Bryant (Wisconsin)

Bryant caught fire from 3-point range and earned the region’s Most Outstanding Player honor, hitting 23 of 46 in the first four games of the tournament and averaging 17 points per game to help Wisconsin pull off a remarkable feat in 2000, reaching the Final Four as a No. 8 seed despite not having any all-conference players on the roster, even honorable mention.

19-20. Mike Kelley (Milwaukee Pius XI, Wisconsin) and Andy Kowske (Whitefish Bay Dominican, Wisconsin)

Maybe Bryant gets to be an exception, but it feels wrong to separate any of the players on the 2000 team; they seemed to exist as a unit. The defensive linchpins Kelley and Kowske both earned all-region honors and helped UW stage a first-round win over Fresno State and then upsets over top-seeded Arizona, LSU and Purdue. Mark Vershaw led the team in scoring that year with 11.8 points per game, while Roy Boone (Madison East) also played a starring role, as did Duany Duany and Maurice Linton. Kowske had 14 rebounds against Fresno State and 12 against Arizona, while Kelley had six steals against Fresno, five against Arizona and five more against LSU.

21. Rosalind Ross (Bradley Tech)

Part of an Oklahoma team that reached the 2002 NCAA championship game before falling to undefeated UCONN. She averaged 12 points per game but delivered a career-best 26 in the Final Four victory over Duke, 86-71, with 10 rebounds and 4 of 8 shooting from 3-point range. She added 17 in the title game on 6 of 13 shooting, including a 3-pointer that pulled OU within 8 points with 6 minutes to go.

22. Dwyane Wade (Marquette)

What can you say about the Marquette legend, whose virtuoso triple double against Kentucky in the 2003 Elite 8 led Marquette to the Final Four for the first time since 1977? Though he ultimately will be remembered nationally for his Hall of Fame pro basketball career, he’ll always have a special place in Milwaukee and Wisconsin sports history.

23. Travis Diener (Fond du Lac, Marquette)

When Marquette star Dwyane Wade struggled for the first 2 ½ games of the 2003 tournament, the point guard Diener was the answer, scoring 29 points in the opener in a narrow win over Holy Cross and dropping another 26 in an overtime win over Missouri in the second round; Diener hit 10 three-pointers between the two games.

24. Robert Jackson (Milwaukee Washington, Marquette)

Jackson had 24 points and 15 rebounds in the Elite Eight win over No. 1 Kentucky in 2003 and was named all-region. He had 16 points in the Sweet 16 win over Pittsburgh and posted 15 and 9 in the national semifinal loss to Kansas.

25. Steve Novak (Brown Deer, Marquette)

Novak hit all four of his 3-pointers against Missouri off the bench and added 16 against Kentucky in the second round and Elite 8 of the run to the 2003 Final Four. His five 3-pointers against Kentucky match an NCAA Tournament record for Marquette, as does the five he hit against Alabama in 2006. He made the all-region team in 2003.

26. Janel McCarville (Stevens Point)

As a junior in 2004, she averaged 18.8 points, a staggering 17 rebounds and 4.8 assists in four games, leading Minnesota to the Final Four before an 18-point, 7-rebound, 4-steal effort in the semifinal loss to UCONN, snapping a string of eight straight double-doubles, including 20 points and 18 rebounds in the Elite Eight against Duke and former high-school rival Mistie Bass of Janesville Parker. Her 75 rebounds were the most ever in an NCAA Tournament (surpassed in 2018), and she went on to become the first overall pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft.

27. Mistie Bass-Williams (Janesville Parker)

Bass appeared in two Final Fours and one national championship game with Duke during her four-year career, and to the Elite Eight the other two seasons. In 2006, Duke fell in overtime to Maryland in the championship game, 78-75, where Bass was held to three points. She had eight in an overtime win over UCONN in the Elite Eight, 63-61, and then 14 on 7 of 9 shooting with nine rebounds in a win over Louisiana in the semifinal.

28. Sam Dekker (Sheboygan Lutheran, Wisconsin)

Dekker’s stepback 3-pointer with 1:41 left broke a 60-60 tie in the 2015 national semifinal, setting the stage for Wisconsin to take down undefeated Kentucky in an unforgettable moment for Wisconsin athletics. Dekker scored 16 points and helped UW advance to the championship game against Duke. He also scored a career-best 27 points, including another huge 3-pointer, to help the Badgers down Arizona in the Elite Eight, on his way to earning the region’s Most Outstanding Player. His 8 for 11 performance from the field tied Frank Kaminsky (against Baylor in 2014) for the best shooting performance for a UW player in an NCAA Tournament game.

29. Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)

The National Player of the Year in 2015, Kaminsky scored 20 points with 11 rebounds in the win over undefeated Kentucky in the 2015 Final Four, and he finished with 21 and 12 in the loss to Duke two nights later. By then, he’d already etched a place in UW history, with 28 points and 11 rebounds in the Elite Eight of the 2014 tournament to help Wisconsin shock top-seed Arizona in overtime, netting him the region’s Most Outstanding Player. He also had 29 points against Arizona in the Elite Eight the following year – second most all-time for a Badgers player in an NCAA Tournament game – and 19 points in Wisconsin’s thrilling win over Oregon in the second round of the 2014 tournament at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Kaminsky also blocked six shots against Baylor in 2014. His 216 career points in NCAA Tournament games are the most for any Badger, as are his 92 rebounds and 15 blocked shots.

30. Josh Gasser (Port Washington, Wisconsin)

Nicknamed “Captain America” during Wisconsin’s back-to-back runs to the Final Four, Gasser rebounded from a torn ACL that cost him the 2012-13 season to help pilot the Badgers. He was named all-region in 2015 when the Badgers went back to the Final Four, even though he never scored more than 10 points in a game during the tournament (and averaged only 7.3 for the year).

31. Traevon Jackson (Wisconsin)

An all-region selection in 2014 when the Badgers made the first of two Final Four runs, Jackson scored 16 points with eight rebounds and five assists in an unforgettable win over Oregon in Milwaukee in the second round. He hit double figures in four of five games, though his potential game-winning basket against Kentucky in the national semifinal was no good.

The buzzer beaters

32-33. Sharon Johnson (Wisconsin) and Keisha Anderson (Racine Park, Wisconsin)

With 2.8 seconds left, Johnson took a pass from Anderson and hit a 19-footer from the top of the key to help the 10th-seeded Badgers to rally and upset No. 23 Kansas in the first round of the 1995 tournament, 73-72. UW trailed by a 56-40 count with 12:50 remaining. Anderson finished with 22 points.

34. Bill (and Bob) Jenkins (Nicolet)

One of the most unforgettable plays in NCAA Tournament history had a big Wisconsin connection. Bryce Drew led Valparaiso to the second round with a magical game-winning shot against Ole Miss in the first round (on VU’s way to the Sweet 16). It was Jenkins, who joined twin brother Bob on the Crusaders roster, who snared a baseball pass from the opposite end out of the air and shuffled it to Drew, who took the winner. Bill hit a game-tying free throw with 30.5 seconds left that forced overtime two days later against Florida State, and Bob hit the go-ahead basket in overtime as VU reached the Sweet 16.

35. Freddie Owens (Milwaukee Washington, Wisconsin)

Wisconsin was on the ropes against Tulsa, a 13th seed looking to stage its second upset of the 2003 tournament, but Wisconsin’s Devin Harris (Wauwatosa East) threw a rifle pass to Owens in the corner, who hit a 3-pointer with 1 second left to give UW a 61-60 win after the Badgers had trailed with 3:36 remaining, 58-45.

36. Trevon Hughes (St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, Wisconsin)

Hughes scored and was fouled with two seconds left, enabling 12th-seeded Wisconsin to pull ahead of fifth-seeded Florida State in the opening round of the 2009 tournament, 61-59. Hughes, who also broke up the subsequent inbound pass to seal it, scored 25 points in Wisconsin’s 72-55 win over Kansas State to reach the Sweet 16 in 2008 and added 19 in a first-round win over Belmont in 2010.

37. Korie Lucious (Milwaukee Pius XI)

Facing Maryland in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, fifth-seeded Michigan State fell behind with 6.6 seconds left, 83-82. The Spartans pushed the ball up the floor, and Lucious got a top-of-the-key look that he buried for an 85-83 victory as the horn sounded.

38. Tatiyiana McMorris (Marquette)

Her 3- pointer in the final 10 seconds helped cap a comeback as No. 8 Marquette defeated No. 9 Texas in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, 68-65. MU trailed by nine points with 12 minutes left, but free throws by Angel Robinson (19 points) and a basket by Paige Fedorowicz put MU into the lead with 4 minutes left. With Robinson drawing the attention, McMorris was open to drain the three. Though MU fell to powerhouse Tennessee in the second round, Marquette gave the Volunteers a run for their money, a 79-70 outcome that marked Tennessee’s closest home tournament win since 1991. McMorris had 15 points in that game, and Robinson led the way with another 19.

39. Vander Blue (Madison Memorial, Marquette)

The guard saved Marquette with a contested left-handed layup and one second on the clock as the Golden Eagles survived 14th-seeded Davidson in the opening round of the 2013 tournament, 59-58. Marquette advanced all the way to the Elite Eight, and Blue made the all-regional team (as did teammate Davante Gardner). Blue scored 29 points in the second-round win over Butler, and scored in double figures against Miami in the Sweet 16 and Syracuse in the Elite Eight.

40. Bronson Koenig (La Crosse Aquinas, Wisconsin)

Drilling an unforgettable shot in the corner for Wisconsin in the second round of the 2016 tournament, the seventh-seeded Badgers were able to stun second-seeded Xavier (and comedian Bill Murray) for a 66-63 victory. Koenig, of course, was also the starting point guard for the 2015 team that reached the national championship game, where he scored 10 points in the loss to Duke. He scored 12 points in the win over Kentucky in the semifinal. Koenig’s 28 points against Virginia Tech in the 2017 tournament rank him in the top-five single-game scoring performances in UW tourney history.

41. Paul Jesperson (Merrill)

In 2016, seconds after sixth-seeded Texas tied the game at 72 in a first-round tilt, Jesperson unleashed a shot from halfcourt that gave 11th-seeded Northern Iowa an unforgettable 75-72 win.

42. Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin)

The all-region selection in 2017, Hayes finished his career tied for the most NCAA Tournament appearances of any UW player, appearing in tournaments from 2014-17. He came off the bench for the 2014 Final Four qualifier and started for the national runner-up in 2015, reaching double figures in five of the six games and averaging 12.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. In 2017, he posted 16 points and 10 rebounds against Virginia Tech in the first round, then added 19 points against Villanova, including the go-ahead basket with 11.4 seconds left to eliminate the reigning champs. He added 22 in the Sweet 16 loss to Florida.

43. Zak Showalter (Germantown, Wisconsin)

Firing up an off-balance, running 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left, Showalter tied the game at 72 against Florida in the 2017 Sweet 16, essentially forcing overtime. Showalter playfully celebrated with “The Belt,” a nod to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was in attendance at Madison Square Garden with seats near the court. Unfortunately for the Badgers, who had taken an 83-81 lead with 4 seconds left in overtime, Florida’s Chris Chiozza hit another buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Gators an 84-83 win.

Showalter also made one of the biggest plays for Wisconsin in a Sweet 16 win over North Carolina in 2015, a steal-and-score that highlighted his bench effort in a second-half comeback on UW’s way to the national-title game.

44. Jordan Poole (Milwaukee King)

Third-seeded Michigan appeared to be headed for the exit in the second round of the 2018 tournament, down 63-61 to Houston with 3.6 seconds left, but Poole’s deep 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted the Wolverines to a thrilling victory; the Wolverines wound up reaching the NCAA championship game that season.

Upset specialists

45. Jim Rappis (Waukesha)

Playing on an injured foot for Arizona, Rappis delivered in the 1976 second round to help Arizona shock UNLV (the No. 3 team in the country) in overtime, 114-109, and reach the regional finals. Rappis scored 24 points, dished out 12 assists and received a standing ovation at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles after he fouled out. He also had 20 points in the first round as Arizona beat Georgetown.

46. Gary Grzesk (Wauwatosa East, UWGB)

UWGB sprung a first-round upset in the NCAA Tournament, toppling No. 5 seed California in a 61-57 victory in 1994. Coached by Dick Bennett and employing relentless defense that had become Bennett’s calling card, the Phoenix gummed up the works for future Basketball Hall of Famer Jason Kidd and fellow top-10 NBA Draft pick Lamond Murray. The task of shutting down Kidd fell largely to Grzesk. The team featured a number of Wisconsinites, including Logan Vander Valden (Valders), Ben Berlowski (Janesville Craig), John Martinez (Milwaukee Marquette), Eric LeDuc (Burlington), Eric Jackson (Milwaukee King) and Jeff Zavada (Stevens Point Pacelli)

47. Joah Tucker (Nicolet, UWM)

Leading UW-Milwaukee on a run to the Sweet 16 during the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Tucker scored 21 points in an upset of fifth-seeded Alabama and added 23 against fourth-seeded Boston College; his 32 against eventual finalist Illinois wasn’t enough in the Sweet 16. Tucker added another 24 the following year when UWM staged another first-round upset against Oklahoma in the 6-11 game.

48. Ed McCants (UWM)

McCants scored 21 points for the Panthers in the first-round upset against Alabama in 2005, followed by another 18 against Boston College to lead the Panthers into the Sweet 16 before he scored 13 in the loss to Illinois.

49. Adrian Tigert (Oshkosh West, UWM)

He scored 27 on 11 of 13 shooting in the second round of the 2006 tournament in an 82-60 loss, and he was a major factor in the 2005 tourney as well (not to mention the free throw he hit that gave the Panthers the Horizon League title in the first place).

50. Darnell Harris (Milwaukee Hamilton)

Harris scored 15 points as Middle Tennessee shocked Michigan State in 2016, marking the eighth time in NCAA history a No. 15 seed beat a No. 2. The 90-81 win launched the Blue Raiders into a battle with Syracuse, where Harris led the team with 11 points in a 75-50 loss.

51. Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay)

In one of the most notable upsets in sports history, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County took down Virginia in 2018 to mark the first time in NCAA history that a No. 16 seed had defeated a No. 1. The starter Sherburne scored 14 points with six rebounds and two assists in a stunning 74-54 victory.

52. Ben Vander Plas (Ripon)

Vander Plas went on a tear to help Ohio upset defending national champion Virginia. Vander Plas, whose father Dean played with Tony Bennett on UWGB, was named for Tony’s father, Dick, who coached both players with the Phoenix. Tony, of course, was then Virginia basketball coach. Vander Plas hit a 3 at the buzzer before halftime and scored 17 points in the 62-58 win, including 10 straight points in the second half. Vander Plas then joined Virginia as a transfer for 2022-23.

53. Tyrese Hunter (Racine St. Catherine’s)

In 2022, the 11th-seeded Iowa State Cyclones upset LSU in Milwaukee, 59-54, when Hunter hit 7 of 11 from three-point range and finishing with a team-best 23 points. Hunter had been just a 27.5% 3-point shooter during the regular season. The more memorable upset for Wisconsinites came in the second round, when Iowa State ushered Wisconsin out of the tournament with a 54-49 win, though Hunter finished with just four points. Hunter scored 13 in a Sweet 16 loss to Miami and then transferred to Texas for the 2022-23 season.

Other heroes for in-state teams

54. Terry Rand (Green Bay East, Marquette)

In 1955, Rand scored a school-record 37 points for Marquette, helping the Warriors topple Miami of Ohio, 90-79, in a first-round overtime win. Rand hit a 15-footer to tie the score and force overtime off an out-of-bounds play, then scored 12 of Marquette’s 18 points in overtime. In the regional semifinals, Rand scored 19 points and Marquette downed Kentucky, 79-71, before falling to Iowa. After Marquette lost to San Francisco in the tournament a year later, San Francisco star Bill Russell said Rand was the best center he’d faced in three seasons of college basketball.

55. Don Kojis (Milwaukee Notre Dame, Marquette)

Kojis had 17 points and 21 rebounds (a still-standing MU tournament record) against Michigan State in 1959, landing him a spot on the all-region team. He had double-doubles in all three games that year, plus another when Marquette faced Houston in a first-round loss in 1961.

56. George Thompson (Marquette)

On his way to becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer, he had a 33-point, 10-rebound performance against Bowling Green in 1968 in Al McGuire’s first NCAA tournament win. He added 20 points in a win over ETSU for third place in the region. Teammate Brian Bunkhorst (Dor-Abby in Abbotsford) had 20 and 14 in that first win. Thompson scored 23 points, 22 and 28 in three games the next year, closing with a loss to Purdue. Brad Luchini (West Allis Central), who had 19 points in a loss to Kentucky, was named all-region. Thompson was named all-region in 1969, along with teammate Dean Meminger.

57. Dean Meminger (Marquette)

He twice made the all-region team in 1969 and 1971, with a 20-point performance in the former year to beat Kentucky in the second round before posting a double-double in a loss to Purdue. He added a 30-point effort against Kentucky in the latter year, part of a third-place regional win, and he posted 21 points in an opening-round win over Miami of Ohio (plus 11 with five assists against Ohio State in a loss).

58. Jim Chones (Racine St. Catherine’s, Marquette)

Just a sophomore, he scored 21 points with 14 rebounds as Marquette won a first-round game in 1971, 62-47. Chones scored another 18 points in a 60-59 loss to Ohio State and earned a spot on the all-region team. Chones famously wasn’t on the team by the 1972 tournament, having signed a contract to play with the New York Nets of the ABA in February of that year.

59. Rashard Griffith (Wisconsin)

The freshman big man helped Wisconsin reach its first NCAA Tournament in 47 years in 1994, and posted 22 points and a Badgers tourney-record 15 rebounds in a first-round win over eighth-seeded Cincinnati for a mild upset. He was held to 6 points and 5 rebounds in a second-round loss to top-seeded Missouri, though Tracy Webster (27 points) picked up the slack and added seven assists for a Badgers single-game tourney record.

60. Michael Finley (Wisconsin)

The UW great scored 36 points in the second round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament, by far the most points for a Badger in an NCAA Tournament game. It came in a 109-96 setback against top-seeded Missouri, but it was a memorable trip of the Badgers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 47 years. Finley also scored 22 points in a win over Cincinnati to open the tourney, 80-72.

61. Barb Franke (Wisconsin)

The Wisconsin leading scorer with 20.7 points per game in 1995 (no UW women’s player has matched that mark since) posted 16 points in the Badgers’ opening-round upset of Kansas, matched with Katie Voigt for team-high honors. Franke added 23 in the team’s second-round loss to Texas Tech.

62. Damon Key (Milwaukee Marquette and Marquette)

Key scored 25 points in his team’s second-round upset of Kentucky in the 1994 NCAA Tournament, following up a 24-point, 12-rebound performance in the first round to beat Louisiana. Jim McIlvaine (Racine St. Catherine’s) had a double-double in that first game and also helped break Kentucky’s press in the second game.

63. Tony Miller (Marquette)

His eight-point scoring output belies how valuable he was against Kentucky’s vaunted press in the second round of the 1994 tournament, when Marquette staged a 75-63 win over the No. 3 seed. Miller finished with nine assists and three steals, as well.

64. Clare Barnard (Menomonie, Marquette)

She scored 23 points with 10 rebounds in an upset of Clemson in the first round of the 1997 tournament, 70-66, taking on taller players to help the 12th-seeded Golden Eagles prevail. MU had gone 8-20 the year before landing the first-round win.

65. Jessie Stomski (Wisconsin)

She scored a Badgers tournament-best 29 points against Missouri on 12 of 18 shooting, though Wisconsin was upset by 10th-seeded Missouri in the first round of the 2001 tourney, 71-68.

66. Devin Harris (Wauwatosa East, Wisconsin)

He averaged 13.4 points in seven games for Wisconsin from 2002-04, racking up 15 steals and 24 assists in that stretch. He finished with 21 points in the second round in 2004, a loss to Pitt, with seven boards and four helpers.

67. Mike Wilkinson (Wisconsin Heights, Wisconsin)

He scored 18 points, while Boo Wade (Milwaukee Vincent) added 16 and Clayton Hanson (Reedsburg) had a big late basket to help Wisconsin rally to beat Richmond in the first round of the 2004 tournament, 76-64. Wilkinson averaged 13.5 points in 11 tournament games over four seasons (2002-05), including 23 in a second-round win over Bucknell on the way to the Elite Eight in 2005.

68. Alando Tucker (Wisconsin)

The all-region choice in 2005 is the all-time leading scorer in Badgers history. He scored 22 points in a win over NC State in the Sweet 16 that year, then added 25 points in a narrow losing effort against eventual champion North Carolina in the Elite Eight, 88-82. Tucker scored 19 points in 2006 in an opening-round loss to Arizona and averaged 20 points over two games in 2007, though both were short stays in the tournament.

69. Jerel McNeal (Marquette)

Though he never reached a Sweet 16, McNeal delivered a 30-point, 8-rebound effort in a last-second loss to Stanford in the 2008 second round. He also scored 20 points against Kentucky in the first round that year. In 2009, he scored 30 again, this time in a losing battle against Missouri after a 14-point performance against Utah State in the opener. On his way to becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer, McNeal reached double figures in each of his five NCAA games.

70. Julie Wojta (Mishicot, UW-Green Bay)

She scored 14 points in the tourney opener over Little Rock in 2011, a 59-55 win for the fifth-seeded UWGB squad. Then, in a 65-56 upset over Michigan State, Wojta added 18 points, while Adrian Ritchie added 20 points off the bench. In 2012, her 10 steals vs. Kentucky in a second-round loss mark the third most ever in a women's NCAA tournament game. She also scored 16 points with eight rebounds. That was after 14 points and six steals in the opener against Iowa State. As a sophomore in 2010, she hit double figures twice in NCAA games.

71. Kayla Tetschlag (Sheboygan North, UW-Green Bay)

She scored 24 points with 11 rebounds in the first round and posted 10 points with 12 rebounds and four assists in the second as the 34-2 Phoenix reached the Sweet 16 for the only time in school history in 2011. The 12 boards are tied for the most in UWGB tournament history. Tetschlag was a force again in the Sweet 16, an 86-76 loss to Baylor, with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Celeste Hoewisch added 20. Brittney Griner scored 40 points in that game. Tetschlag also had 16 points in the 2009 opener against LSU and scored 29 in a second-round loss to Iowa State in 2010, matching Chandra Johnson (2003) for the most UWGB points in an NCAA Tournament game.

72. Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)

His 39 assists in NCAA Tournament games are the most of any Wisconsin player. In 2012, he was named all-region after posting productive lines in all three games. But he was even better as a junior, posting 22 and 5 in a loss to Butler, 12, 4 and 6 in a win over Kansas State and 21, 2 and 6 in a win over Belmont.

73. Allazia Blockton (Whitefish Bay Dominican, Marquette)

She scored 17 points in the third period in 2018 vs. Louisville and averaged 24.5 points over two games. Finished with 34 and 6 rebounds in that battle vs. Louisville despite the loss.

74. Natisha Hiedeman (Green Bay Southwest, Marquette)

She finished with 32 points in the 84-65 win over Dayton in the first round of 2018 and scored 18 points against Texas A&M in a narrow second-round loss in 2019, with six rebounds and seven assists.

The coaches

75. Harold Olsen (Rice Lake)

He led Ohio State to a runner-up finish in 1939 and then again to the Final Four for three straight years from 1944-46. Olsen, who also coached at Ripon college and played at Wisconsin, is credited with conceiving the idea of the NCAA Tournament and was the first chairman of the DI basketball committee from 1940-46.

76. Sam Barry (Madison)

He led USC to the Final Four in 1940, where the Trojans were upset by Kansas in the semifinal. Barry began his coaching career at his old high school.

77. George Ireland (Prairie du Chien Campion)

Ireland led Loyola to an upset victory over top-ranked Cincinnati, 60-58, in an overtime thriller that gave Loyola the NCAA championship in 1963. Vic Rouse rebounded a driving miss by Les Hunter and cashed it in for the winning basket just before time expired in the extra session. Loyola finished 28-2 in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.

78. Ned Wulk (Marion)

Wulk led his program to three Elite Eights in 1961, 1963 and 1975. The 1963 team defeated UCLA in the tournament, 93-79; the Bruins went on to win the next two national titles and nine of the next 10.

79. Al McGuire (Marquette)

Few can compare to the legend of McGuire, the coach at Marquette from 1964-77 who led the Golden Eagles to a national title but also made MU a basketball hotbed, complete with colorful theatrics. His teams went 20-9 in the NCAA Tournament, including 4-1 in the 1974 run to the national runner-up spot and 5-0 in 1977, including a thriller in the Final Four over Charlotte, 51-49, before a victory over North Carolina for the crown, 67-59. His presence in the NCAA Tournament extends to the NIT, where he famously led Marquette to the title after eschewing an NCAA invite in 1970. His 295 wins at Marquette are by far the most in school history, with his 28-1 team in 1971 owning the best record. He was twice named national Coach of the Year.

80. Dick Bennett (Clintonville, UWGB, Wisconsin)

One of the patriarchs of Wisconsin basketball, Bennett’s long coaching history in the state includes stops at Ripon, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Green Bay and then Wisconsin, where his scrappy, defensive-minded 2000 team staged an improbable run to the Final Four before losing to eventual champion Michigan State. He was at the helm when UWGB upset Cal in 1994.

81. Rick Majerus (Milwaukee Marquette)

He led Utah to the NCAA championship game in 1998, where the third-seeded Utes took a 78-69 loss to Kentucky. Utah recorded wins over two No. 1 seeds in Arizona and North Carolina to get that far. He also happened to be an assistant from 1971-83 at Marquette (before becoming MU’s head coach), where he was on staff for the run to the 1974 Final Four and 1977 NCAA title.

82. Kevin Borseth (UWGB)

He built an empire in the Midwest Collegiate Conference and Horizon League, serving as head coach for UWGB's women's team starting in the 1998-99 season. The Phoenix made the NCAA Tournament in seven of his nine seasons and then, after a detour to the University of Michigan job, Borseth returned in 2012-13 and led the Phoenix to five tournaments in his next six seasons, with five years of Matt Bollant in between. Bollant guided the team to the Sweet 16 in 2011 and the second round in 2010 and 2012, meaning he had more NCAA Tournament wins in his window than Borseth (who won first-round games in 2003 and 2007). But Borseth, who’s still the coach at UWGB, helped make the postseason an expectation. His team’s win over Washington in 2003 marked the program’s first NCAA win.

83. Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)

His 14 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and 25 wins are far and away the most in Badgers history, more than the other Badgers coaches combined. From 2002-2015, his teams went 25-14 in the Big Dance, with an appearance in the 2014 Final Four and 2015 national-championship game. Under Ryan, the Badgers went 22-6 as the higher seed in the NCAA tourney and set a new level for expected consistency that meant a trip to the Big Dance every year he coached UW.

84. Tom Crean (Marquette)

From 1999-2003, he served as head coach of the Marquette men’s team, guiding the team to the Final Four in a memorable 2003 run. He led the Golden Eagles to four other NCAA Tournaments before departing for Indiana after the 2007-08 season.

85. Bruce Pearl (UWM)

Often controversial, Pearl became one of the faces of UWM’s run to the Sweet 16 in 2005 and wound up taking the head coaching position at Tennessee. Pearl, who coached Auburn to the Final Four in a gut-wrenching loss to Virginia in the 2019 semifinal, ceded the role to Rob Jeter, a former University of Wisconsin assistant who then led UWM to another first-round win.

86. Bruce Weber (Milwaukee Washington)

Weber led Illinois to the 2005 national final, where it lost to North Carolina. The Illini defeated Arizona in overtime of the regional final, 90-89, with the Wildcats missing a potential buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Illinois then dismantled Louisville, 72-57, to win the semifinal before the 75-70 loss in the championship.

87. Shaka Smart (Oregon)

The future Marquette University coach burst onto the scene as head coach of VCU in 2011, a No. 11 seed that first had to defeat USC in the inaugural “First Four” round to even make the main part of the tournament. VCU staged upsets of Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and top-seeded Kansas to reach the Final Four, where the Rams encountered another Cinderella story in eighth-seeded Butler and fell, 70-62.

88. Carolyn Kieger (Marquette)

As head coach at Marquette, she led the Golden Eagles to three straight NCAA Tournaments, including second-round appearances in 2018 and 2019; Marquette narrowly missed advancing to the Sweet 16 in the latter. As a player, she was part of a Marquette team that reached the second round in 2004. In that game, Crystal Weaver found Christina Quaye for a layup with 5.8 seconds left to break a tie and help MU secure a 67-64 win. Quaye had 22 points and Kieger 12 in the win. In a second-round loss to Duke, Kieger had 13 points and a team-best seven assists. Quaye added 15.

89. Tony Bennett (Green Bay Preble)

Bennett, a player at Green Bay Preble and UW-Green Bay playing for his father, Wisconsin basketball legend Dick Bennett, led an unforgettable turnaround for his Virginia men’s basketball team, leading the Cavaliers to the 2019 NCAA championship. The run included a thriller over Purdue in the regional final, in which Mamadi Diakite hit a buzzer beater to force overtime, where Virginia prevailed, 80-75. Then, in the Final Four, Virginia toppled Auburn, 63-62, before downing Texas Tech in the final. But what made the run especially memorable was how Virginia’s season ended in 2018, when the top-seeded Cavaliers became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round to a No. 16 seed, beaten by the University of Maryland Baltimore County. As a player at UWGB, he had 10 assists in a narrow first-round loss to Michigan State.

90. Dawn Plitzuweit (West Bend)

The South Dakota women's basketball coach led her squad to upsets in each of the first two rounds in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, including a win over No. 2 Baylor to reach the Sweet 16, followed by a narrow defeat to Michigan for the best tourney run in program history. She was named head coach at West Virginia the following year.

Other excellence

91. Bob Anderegg (Monroe)

Anderegg led Michigan State with 23 points, including three straight baskets down the stretch, as the Spartans held off Marquette for a 74-69 victory in the regional semifinal of 1959. State was loaded with Wisconsinites that year, including Lance Olson (Green Bay West), Tom Rand (Green Bay East) and Dave Fahs (Monroe) among the team’s top six. Anderegg was named all-region.

92. Joe Wolf (Kohler)

One of the biggest recruits in state basketball history played in the tournament four times with North Carolina, playing in 13 NCAA Tournament games from 1984-87 and hitting double figures in seven of them. He posted a double-double (18 and 11) in a first-round win over Middle Tennessee in his sophomore year, and as a junior he had 10 and 16 with four assists in a second-round win over UAB. He twice reached the Elite Eight but never farther; as a senior in 1987, he had 25 points in a game against Penn and another double-double (12 and 10) in an Elite Eight loss to Syracuse.

93. Latrell Sprewell (Milwaukee Washington)

He scored 21 points in a second-round win for Alabama over Wake Forest in 1991, with six rebounds and six assists. He reached double figures in all three tournament games that year, with 12 assists and 19 rebounds total. The following year, he had 23 points in a first-round win over Stanford. He went on to make four all-star teams in 13 NBA seasons.

94. Angie Halbleib (Verona)

She played in four NCAA Tournaments and helped Kansas to its first-ever Sweet 16 in 1996, capping three double-figures performances with 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting against Tennessee. She added 13 points in a first-round win in 1997.

95. Anna DeForge (Niagara)

With 13 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, she led Nebraska to the second tournament victory in program history in a 1998 win over New Mexico, 76-59. She also added 17 points and nine rebounds in a second-round loss to Old Dominion, 75-60. She's now an assistant coach at UW-Milwaukee.

96. Zuzana Klimešová (Milwaukee Pius XI)

Playing at Vanderbilt, she made all-region in 2001 and 2002. She finished with 18 points in an Elite Eight loss to Tennessee in the latter year after earning SEC Tournament MVP, helping Vandy procure a No. 1 seed in the field. In the former season, she averaged 19.2 points per game over four contests, including 27 points and 12 rebounds in an Elite 8 loss to Notre Dame after an upset of Iowa State in the Sweet 16.

97. Caron Butler (Racine Park)

In 2002, the Big East Co-Player of the Year helped Connecticut reach the Elite 8, falling to eventual national champion Maryland. He hit three free throws with 11.4 seconds left and two more with 3.6 left as UCONN escaped North Carolina State, 77-74, with Butler scoring 34 points in the second-round game. Butler scored 32 more in the loss to Maryland and averaged 26.5 points over four games to earn an all-region nod.

98. Elgin Cook (Milwaukee Hamilton)

Cook played from 2013-16 for Oregon and might mostly be remembered for running into Wisconsin twice, eliminated in the second round in 2014 and 2015. But as a senior in 2016, Cook was outstanding for the top-seeded Ducks, earning all-region honors as he led his team to the Elite Eight. He scored double figures in all four games, including a double-double in the opener against Holy Cross, and finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds in a Sweet 16 win over Duke. He scored 24 in a loss to Oklahoma on the doorstep of the Final Four.

99. Sam Logic (Racine Case)

The All-American at Iowa finished her career second in Big Ten history in career assists, and she reached double figures in seven of her eight NCAA Tournament games. In 2015, she was all-region to close her All-American season, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists for the 14th triple-double in NCAA Tournament history, recorded in the Sweet 16 against Baylor. Her 14 assists were a tourney record for Iowa, though the Hawkeyes lost to Baylor, 81-66.

100. Tyler Herro (Whitnall)

The one-time Badgers recruit played one year for Kentucky and earned all-region honors even as his team was eliminated in the Elite Eight in 2019 against Auburn. Herro scored 19 points in the Sweet 16 win over Houston and handed out six assists in the Elite Eight loss, one shy of his season high. Herro also held Wofford’s Fletcher Magee, then the all-time career 3-pointer leader in NCAA history, to 0 for 12 shooting in the second round. Herro’s 3-pointer with 25 seconds to play was massive in a 62-58 win over higher-seeded Houston in the Sweet 16.

101. Megan Gustafson (South Shore)

The national Player of the Year in 2019 set the Big Ten career rebounding record and tied the NCAA single-season record with 33 double-doubles. In 2019, she was all-region as the Hawkeyes made the Elite Eight; she played in four games that year, averaging 26 points per contest and 14.3 rebounds on her way to the nod. Iowa fell to eventual champion Baylor, 85-53.

Other all-region choices

  • 1968: Brad Luchini, Marquette
  • 1972: Bob Lackey, Marquette
  • 1973: Larry McNeill, Marquette
  • 1976: Earl Tatum, Marquette
  • 2005: Clayton Hanson, Wisconsin
  • 2008: Jerry Smith (Wauwatosa East), Louisville
  • 2013: Davante Gardner, Marquette

JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe. Special thanks to Cliff Christl for his assistance with the project.

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