UW-Madison badgers basketball game day guide

Kohl Center glowing with Badger pride | Photo by @badgermbb

Wake up Badgers, it’s game day.

For the uninitiated, game day in Madison can be mind-boggling — to say the least. Maybe it’s the sea of cardinal and white, the overwhelming amount of coveralls, or the traffic headache of parking near the Kohl Center. Whatever the case, we’re here to help break down the day quarter by quarter to help you secure a W for a Badgers basketball game.

First quarter: Gear up

It’s not a true game day if you’re not bursting with school pride — and dressed the part too. Make your way down to State St. to pick up everything from t-shirts and beanies to face tattoos and coveralls. After all, if you look good, you feel good. 

And if you feel good, you play good. Go see the equipment managers at Sconnie Nation and Insignia Campus Apparel for some classic gameday looks. For the fans looking for a buzzer beater apparel purchase, swing by Bucky’s Locker Room located inside the Kohl Center to pick up last minute gear. 

Second quarter: Fuel up

The most important thing Badgers can do on game day — aside from chanting obscenities at one another — is eat. What’s a Badgers game day without a spotted cow accompanied by a basket of curds? For those looking for a high energy bar atmosphere to grab a bite, there’s no place like Nitty Gritty or Echo Tap. If you want to level up your pre-game eats, check out The Harvey House or Bassett Street Brunch Club for a more elevated experience.

Third quarter: Study up

With 2 seasons underway currently, let’s take a look at our game film + recap some Badgers basketball fast facts.

  • The men’s basketball team is currently ranked No. 13 in the nation + No. 3 in the Big Ten.
  • The team has had 3 second-half comebacks of 10+ points for the first time in the same season since 1999-2000.
  • The women’s basketball team recruited new head coach Marisa Moseley in 2021.
  • Team player to watch: Sydney Hilliard — who averaged 15.5 ppg last season.

Fourth quarter: Game time

The time has come. We’re dressed, we’re fed, and we’re ready to storm the Kohl Center. The atmosphere around the stadium gets quite overwhelming, so we recommend pre-planning where to park. 

A series of lots all over the downtown area have been designated for gameday parking for both the men’s + women’s games. Prefer not to drive? Take a look at the rider tools and apps to check bus schedules, routes, and real-time locations. Or if you need a pre-game warmup, ride your bike to the Kohl’s Center and park nearby.

With a gameplan like this, we’re sure you’ll be on top of the ball next time you get out for a Badgers gameday.