Wisconsin Badgers Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Greg Gard

Team Mascot: Bucky Badger

Year Opened: 1998

Capacity: 17287

City / State: Madison / Wisconsin

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Wisconsin vs Minnesota

Rival Team: Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Gophers are the Badgers biggest rivals and basketball is no exception. If you want to go to one of the wildest and rowdiest Badgers basketball game of the season then make sure to go to the game against the Gophers. Matchups between these two also count towards to the annual Border Battle trophy, so there are more than just simple bragging rights on the line when these two schools meet.

Wisconsin vs Marquette

Rival Team: Marquette Golden Eagles

The Badgers have an intense rivalry with in-state rivals Marquette. The two teams meet every season, and there are always plenty of fans of both teams in attendance, which creates an electric atmosphere. The tension inside the Kohl Center is always high when these two meet, so don’t miss a Wisconsin-Marquette game.

Wisconsin vs Iowa

Rival Team: Iowa Hawkeyes

The Badgers and Hawkeyes have an intense rivalry on the gridiron that has made its way over to the hardcourt. There is always a lot at stake when the Badgers and Hawkeyes meet, so come out to support the Badgers when the hated Hawkeyes come to visit.

Wisconsin Badgers Stadium Guide

In Game

The Badgers have one of the best fan bases in the country and are the top dogs when it comes to basketball in Wisconsin’s capital. The student section at Wisconsin, known as The Grateful Red, give opponents a hard time and are among the loudest in all of college basketball. If you’re attending a big game, then you’ll get to experience them at their best as they heckle their opponents into submission.

Despite the fact Badger fans are quite intimidating to opposing players, they are actually quite nice to fans and are more than willing to strike up conversations. If you’re looking to know more about the Badgers, then don’t be afraid to ask your fellow fans as they’ll be happy to engage with you.

In addition to the great fans, there are several displays around the arena that pay tribute to the greatest players and teams in Badgers history. There are numerous banners to hanging from the rafters to check out and you’ll without a doubt want to stop by the 1941 Championship Display. The display honors the Badgers only NCAA Tournament winning team and is a must see.

Finally, after the game,  Madison offers tons of food and drink options. The nearby Nitty Gritty is a must for anyone making the pilgrimage to Madison and is a fan favorite. There are also a wide variety of bars and restaurants on State Street, so no matter what you have a taste for you’ll likely find it there.

A trip to Madison to see the Badgers play at the Kohl Center is a must for any Big Ten basketball fan. The devotion of the fans and vibrant in-game atmosphere make it one of the best venues in the Big Ten and the after party around Madison is second to none so book your trip today.

Things to check out

Bucky’s Locker Room

If you’re looking to pick up a souvenir from your trip to the Kohl Center, then stop by Bucky’s Locker Room on the main concourse. Bucky’s Locker Room has an incredible selection of Badgers gear, so matter what you’re looking for you’ll find it here.

1941 Championship Display

Make sure to check out the 1941 Championship Display when attending a game at the Kohl Center. The display honors the Badgers only NCAA Tournament winning team and is a must see for Badger fans everywhere.

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Mendota Wall

When arriving at the game take a minute to enjoy Dale Chihuly's “Mendota Wall” sculpture in the main lobby. The UW-Madison alumni’s works can be seen in museums throughout the country, so here is your chance to see one of his pieces.


Hanging from the rafters of the Kohl Center are banners honoring all the greatest teams and players in Wisconsin athletics history. Check these banners out to remember your favorite teams and players during a trip to the Kohl Center.

Bucky Badger

Everyone in Madison loves Bucky. Bucky has been the official mascot of the Badgers since 1940 and was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006. During games, Bucky performs all kinds of cheers and stunts so keep an eye out for him.

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The Grateful Red

The Grateful Red are one of the loudest and most raucous student sections in the country. Wisconsin students arrive at games clad in tie-dyed shirts ready to cheer on their team, so you won’t miss them during your trip to Madison no matter where you are in the arena.

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Pep Band

Wisconsin has an incredible marching band, so it should come as little surprise that their pep band is also top-notch. During the game you’ll hear an excellent selection of fight songs and modern pop songs performed, so enjoy the musical stylings of the Badgers pep band during your trip to Madison.

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Fight Songs

  1. On Wisconsin

    On Wisconsin is one of the most favorite college fight songs because of it’s fast and upbeat nature. It’s used by 100’s of high schools throughout the nation, so if you’d heard the tune before, you know where it started!

    On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Plunge right through that line!
    Run the ball right down the field, a touchdown sure this time.
    On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Fight on for her fame,
    Fight! Fellows! Fight! Fight, fight, we’ll win this game.

    On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Stand up, Badgers sing!
    ‘Forward’ is our driving spirit loyal voices ring.
    On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!
    Stand, fellows, let us now salute her name!

  2. Varsity

    Wisconsin’s “Varsity” Song. Be sure to grab a fellow Badger (or the people next to you, and slowly sway to ‘Varsity’!

    Varsity! Varsity!
    U-rah-rah! Wisconsin,
    Praise to thee we sing!
    Praise to thee, our Alma Mater,
    U-rah-rah! Wisconsin!

  3. If you want to be a Badger

    Our personal favorite Badger song. It’s not the official fight song, but it does have it’s own dance/hand movements. A favorite of all!

    If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me,
    By the light, by the light, by the light of the moon.
    If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me,
    By the bright shining light of the moon.
    By the light of the moon, by the light of the moon,
    By the bright shining light, by the light of the moon.
    If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me,
    By the bright shining light of the moon.

  4. Bud

    Another Fan Favorite, it’s a polka song from an old Budweiser commercial, but Wisconsin adopted it after a 1978 epic, come from behind win over Oregon. You’ll see plenty of Badgers polka-ing in the stands during this song!

  5. Chomp ‘Em Cheer

    Badger fans perform the “chomp ‘em” cheer when the opposing team is announced. Join in on the cheer to show your distaste for the opposition.

Wisconsin Badgers Bars & Restaurants

  1. Churchkey Bar and Grill

    Churchkey Bar and Grill

    The Church Key, now a Madison institution for well-over 50 years, is a place where everyone can come to enjoy themselves.

    626 University Ave, Madison, WI 53715, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  2. Hawk’s Bar & Grill

    Hawks Bar and Grill

    Relaxed watering hole that draws students & sports fans for burgers, specials & a huge beer menu.

    425 State St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  3. Whiskey Jacks Saloon

    Whiskey Jacks Saloon

    Wild West-theme saloon with big dance floor, mechanical bull & live music plus many beers on draft.

    552 State St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. The Plaza Tavern

    The Plaza Tavern

    Home of the world's fmouse PLAZABURGER.

    319 N Henry St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  5. Jordan’s Big Ten Pub

    Jordans Big Ten Pub

    Football-themed sports tavern with a big pub-grub menu, drink specials & a Friday fish fry.

    Jordan\'s Big Ten, 1330 Regent St, Madison, WI 53715, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  6. Ale Asylum

    Ale Asylum

    At ALE ASYLUM, we brew beers in the tradition of our friend Crusty Oldbrewer who sent us on this path: brew honest, brew like you mean it.

    2002 Pankratz St, Madison, WI 53704, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  7. Lucky’s Brew Pub

    Luckys Bar and Grille

    Craft beer, tasty cocktails, great food and a nostalgic atmosphere you are sure to love right in the heart of Madison.

    1313 Regent St, Madison, WI 53715, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  8. Wando’s


    Boisterous 3-level bar with a party vibe offering DJs, dancing & a weekly free-bacon night.

    602 University Ave, Madison, WI 53715, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  9. State Street Brats

    State Street Brats

    Wisconsin Badger sports bar featuring red bratwurst, burgers & beer plus a front patio.

    603 State St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $

  10. Nitty Gritty

    Nitty Gritty

    Longtime bar & grill featuring free birthday beer, cocktails or soda plus pub grub & TVs.

    223 N Frances St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  11. Mondays


    Known for its strong drinks, this watering hole offers a lively atmosphere in an unassuming setting.

    523 State St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  12. Kollege Klub

    Kollege Klub

    Historic college-town watering hole & Badger bar with a vintage tavern vibe & a menu of pub basics.

    529 N Lake St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  13. Samba Brazilian Grill

    Samba Brazilian Grill

    Stylish churrascaria featuring a variety of all-you-can-eat meats cut tableside & a large salad bar.

    240 W Gilman St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$$

  14. Old Fashioned

    Wisconsin-themed, retro-style tavern offering beers, brats & cheese curds (all sourced in-state).

    27 N Pinckney St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  15. Mediterranean Cafe

    Mediterranean Cafe

    Casual, compact cafe serving hummus, falafel & other Mediterranean fares at lunch.

    625 State St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    european - $

  16. Tornado Steak House

    Tornado Club Steak House

    Old-school steakhouse with a rustic, supper-club vibe serving classic chops, seafood & cocktails.

    116 S Hamilton St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    steakhouse - $$

  17. The Great Dane

    The Great Dane

    Regardless of whether you prefer a classic German lager, English ale, when you’re at The Great Dane, you will always have the best.

    357 Price Pl, Madison, WI 53705, USA


    Bar website

    european - $$

  18. GreenBush Bar

    GreenBush Bar

    Simple parlor with Christmas lights for Sicilian-style pizza & pasta, plus wine & spirits.

    914 Regent St, Madison, WI 53715, USA


    Bar website

    italian - pizza - $$

  19. Mickies Dairy Bar

    pancakes breakfast

    Cozy local institution serving hearty portions of breakfast fare at communal tables.

    1511 Monroe St, Madison, WI 53711, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  20. Dotty Dumplings Dowry

    Dotty Dumplings Dowry

    Dotty's offers award-winning hamburgers, Friday fish fry, homemade soups and chili, fresh salads and so much more!

    317 N Frances St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  21. Ian’s Pizza

    Ians Pizza

    Wisconsin-born chain known for its creative pizzas including its signature mac 'n' cheese pie.

    100 State St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  22. Memorial Union Terrace

    Memorial Union Terrace

    Lakefront, iconic destination featuring more than 10 dining options and frequent, often free entertainment.

    800 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$