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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 21, 2024

Sweet 16 preview: In effort to rally fans, Sheffield donates 1,000 tickets to UW students

After putting together one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, the 2016 Wisconsin Badgers is a team well-versed in the art of record-breaking.

While this group of Wisconsin players is hailed for achievements like earning the highest postseason seed ever, the Wisconsin fanbase has made some history in its own right, shattering the average attendance for home matches this year.

But now, much like he does with his own team, head coach Kelly Sheffield is trying to give Badgers’ fans some extra motivation to make the proverbial postseason push.

During his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, Sheffield made the announcement that he and his wife would donate up to 1,000 tickets to Wisconsin students for the upcoming regional final match against Ohio State at the Field House. The Sheffields hope that the offering will persuade students to attend the match, despite its rather inconvenient 1 p.m. start-time this Friday afternoon.

“Cathy [Sheffield] and I sat down and said ‘this team deserves to be playing in front of a full house,’” Sheffield said. “I know that we’ve sold out just about all of our games here and that we need to get our students in here.”

Now in his fourth year running the show at Wisconsin, Sheffield is aware of how much pride the city takes in its sports teams. He knows that Wisconsin fans can come together and create an electric atmosphere for their Badgers as they compete for a spot in the elite eight.

“This is a special venue and the sports fans here in this town are crazy,” Sheffield said. I know when there’s a big game, people show up, so we’re hoping that we get the biggest student crowd in years this Friday.”

Based on the reactions he’s received so far, the coach has reason to be optimistic.

“I’ve had quite a few students tweet at me to thank me for giving them an excuse to skip class,” Sheffield said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to go forward and we’re excited to be able to it here in the Field House.”

The three-seeded Badgers (17-3 Big Ten, 27-4 overall) will take on conference rival Ohio State (10-10, 21-12) at the Field House this Friday afternoon. First-serve is slated for 1 p.m.

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