Following this Sunday's humiliating 87-69 loss to Cornell in the second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, Badger fans divided into two camps. One is proud of this year's team for finishing near the top of the Big Ten standings and winning in the tourney's first round. Pundits predicted a .500 record or worse this year and the Badgers overachieved, they feel.
The other group is best exemplified by a thread on the BadgerNation.com message board titled "When can you expect more?" It's a legitimate question.
Under Bo Ryan, head coach since 2001, the team has played in nine NCAA tournaments, reaching the Elite Eight once, Sweet Sixteen twice and bowing out in the second round five times, including three of the last four years.
Sunday's loss qualifies as the most disappointing appearance over that span. Wisconsin, which boasts one of the stingiest defenses in the country, allowed Cornell to methodically shoot 61% from the field, eight of 15 from behind the three-point arc.
Some fans are holding the Badgers to a high standard, believing they should compete with any team in the country. Wins this year over powerhouses like Duke, Michigan State and Purdue - all of whom are still alive in the tournament - provide ample evidence to support that theory.
Ryan has cemented a winning tradition in Madison, which is no small feat. But with that comes a fan base itching to make a run at a Final Four or better. Or at least avoid a blowout at the hands of an Ivy League school.