Every year for decades, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan attended the Final Four with his father, Butch Ryan, who was a legendary coach in his own right. That was until Butch died last year, a major blow for Bo. However, the loss of his father only made Bo more motivated to get back to the Final Four. He did exactly that this season, reaching the national semifinals for the first time as a coach, this time not having to watch the games from the stands with his dad.
A whole lot of people doubted this Badgers team going into the tournament, but even after the devastating loss to Kentucky, no doubters remain. For the rest of their lives, the players on this Wisconsin team have something on which to hang their hats.
Playing inspired basketball for themselves and their dedicated coach, the Badgers came less than an inch away from a national championship berth. Not many people had Kentucky and UConn penciled in for the national championship game in their brackets, but here we are. On Monday night, one of those two teams will be crowned college basketball‘s top squad.
For anyone, this run would be special. For Ryan, it meant even more. To be able to watch so many Final Fours with his dad in the stands over the years was a blessing for Ryan, who cherished his relationship with his father. Now standing on the sidelines rather than in the stands during the Final Four this season, there is only one thing Butch would be of Bo after this magical run: proud.