This is a story of the “Good Luck Cow” that I won on March 28, 2014 in Santa Monica, California￼￼.
As many of you know, I’m a diehard Wisconsin Badgers fan. All of their sports, not just basketball or football.
So in March of 2014, the Badgers were the No. 2 seed in the West Region in the NCAA Tournament. UW took down No. 15 American in the first round and No. 7 Oregon in the second round in Milwaukee to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16. The West Region Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games were in Anaheim at the Honda Center.
￼The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games were on Thursday, March 27 and Saturday, March 29. So I went down to Southern California the Thursday morning and watched Wisconsin absolutely dominate Baylor in the Sweet 16 by a final of 69-52, and the game wasn’t even that close. So the Badgers were taking on Arizona on the Saturday in the Elite 8.
Mind you, Wisconsin hadn’t been to the Final Four since the 1999-2000 season, even though they came close in the 2004-05 season when they lost 88-82 to eventual National Champion North Carolina in the Elite 8. Bo Ryan, a Hall of Fame Coach, had also never been to the Final Four despite having four Division 3 National Championships to his resume.
So on the Friday, the day in between the two games, I went to the Santa Monica Pier because I had all the emotions going as a fan….stressed, excited, nervous, etc..
While trying to have fun at the Pier, there was an earthquake while I was on one of the rides so they had to shutdown every ride for an hour. So I decided to just play some of the carnival games they had.
I kept losing every game I was playing until I decided to play the ring toss game. Finally, I got a ring on one of the bottles and won a big stuffed animal. So I chose the Cow because I was there for the Wisconsin basketball games and “Happy Cows come from Wisconsin.”
So the Badgers took on Arizona the next day. I was very nervous for the game. I thought we’d play well and it’d be a very close game, but I wasn’t 100% confident we’d get over that hump (the Elite 8). Arizona was also favored in the game.
The Badgers won an overtime thriller, 63-62, to advance to the Final Four! It was hands down the best basketball game (at any level) that I had ever been to.
So the following year, the 2014-15 season, the Badgers were the No. 1 seed in the West Region. The Badgers took down No. 16 Coastal Carolina and No. 8 Oregon in the first two rounds in Omaha.
The Badgers returned to Southern California for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. This time, the games were at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Badgers took down a gritty No. 4 seed in North Carolina, 79-72, to advance to the Elite 8. And once again, the Badgers faced No. 2 Arizona in the Elite 8 with a trip to the Final Four at stake. And once again, the Wildcats were favored.
Wisconsin put on an incredible shooting clinic in the second half of the Elite 8 game and took down Arizona once again, 85-78.
And the Good Luck Cow just took on a life of its own.