Wisconsin retires Michael Finley's number
WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Twenty-seven years after his last game in red, Michael Finley's number, 24, is finally where it belongs.
"My main focus was to win as many games as we could and put the Wisconsin basketball program on the map," said Badgers legend Michael Finley.
And he did. Averaging more than 20 points a game in three straight seasons, Finley led Wisconsin to the NCAA tournament in 1994. It was Wisconsin's first trip in nearly 50 years.
Now, it's expected for the Badgers every season.
"It makes me proud to look back at the basketball program and the university and see the success they had, knowing I was one of the original teams to break the barrier getting back to the tournament," Finley said.
"Basketball wasn't cool (at Wisconsin) before Michael Finley and his teammates got here," said Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard.
Wisconsin basketball has changed drastically since Finley's time, from their reputation to the venue.
"I played in a condominium," said Finley. This is a mansion."
But the Badger tradition, and Wisconsin way that Finley helped create, have stayed steady.
"I hope the kids saw a guy who truly played with passion and did what it took to win ballgames," Finley said. "That's the Wisconsin basketball tradition."
Finley is just the third Badger in program history to have his jersey retired.