THE LABAHN ARENA AND UW FIELD HOUSE: A VERY LOUD FRIDAY NIGHT!

The buzz you may have heard last Friday night (December 4) on the University of Wisconsin campus wasn’t just from the bars on State Street.   At 7 pm, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team was hosting Minnesota at the sold-out 2,200 seat LaBahn Arena.   At 8 pm, the Wisconsin volleyball team was hosting Iowa Sate in a second round NCAA tournament match at the nearly sold out (5500+) UW Field House. The start time for the match was changed from 7 pm to 8 pm so it could be shown on the Big Ten Network.   Why all the excitement? Simple.   The UW hockey team came into the two-game series against the third ranked Gophers with a 16-0 record and the country’s No. 1 ranking.   The UW volleyball team came into the match against Iowa State having won 13 straight matches with an overall record of 25-6 and the No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament.   Both the hockey team and the volleyball team won Friday night – hockey in a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Minnesota and volleyball in an impressive 25-18, 25-15, 25-21 sweep of Iowa State. The volleyball team had advanced to Friday night’s match with a 3-1 victory over Oregon Thursday night. The hockey team followed up the 3-2 win with a 3-1 win on Saturday night before another sell-out crowd.   Not only was the Field House almost sold out, as one news account described it, there was a “rowdy crowd” at the match.   It was also a homecoming of sorts at the Field House for my wife Nancy...

COREY CLEMENT: THE SEASON THAT WASN’T

James White. Montee Ball. Melvin Gordon.   Next in line at “Running Back U” was Corey Clement.   2015 would finally be his time to shine, to be the #1 tailback for the University of Wisconsin.   No more being back-up. No sharing the spotlight. Clement, a junior, would finally be “the guy” for the Badgers.   It was expected he would be another great rusher for a program that throughout the years had some of the best in the country.   Wisconsin had the distinction of having not one, but two, Heisman Trophy winners – both power runners: Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne   The tradition was there and the timing was exactly right, or so we thought, with new Wisconsin Coach Paul Chryst, one of the best offensive play callers in college football.   Now, with the 2015 season almost over, except for the final game – a Bowl game, most likely the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, it has been an almost totally lost season for Clement.   And it’s not certain he will even play in the Bowl game and even more uncertain whether he will return for his senior season.   His numbers this year are something we certainly didn’t expect: 3 games played and 29 carries for 155 yards, most of those numbers coming against a terrible Rutgers team.   First, it was a sports hernia for Clement, which wasn’t known when the Badgers opened the 2015 season against Alabama. That injury and surgery that followed kept Clement on the sideline most of the season…although it often seemed unclear whether he could play...