Otto Puls may be the Badgers good luck charm

MADISON (WITI) -- If you've been to a Badgers basketball home game within the last 50 years, you might know Otto Puls -- he's the guy keeping score, managing equipment and officiating practices.

"We get everything from the balls, to the equipment to the towels, to the opponents' jerseys, everything like that together so Coach Ryan is ready to go at 1:30. Everything is ready," said Puls.

Puls isn't sure just how many games he worked, but estimates it to be around 1,000. He says this trip to the Final Four is a little different than his last trip in 2000.

"It's a lot bigger than it was 14 years ago, let's put it that way," said Puls.

Although fans are doing it bigger, Puls says the tight-knit team is what makes these Badgers stand out.

"I don't think I've ever been involved as much with these kids as I have been this year. They're just like my own kids," said an emotional Puls. "It's so much fun to be part of that group and I guess they like me, too."

Before hitting the court, each of the players either rubs Puls' head for good luck, or gives him a fist bump.

"There's nothing I can do about it but I can cheer like hell at the end of the game and that's the fun part of it," said Puls.

The Badgers are set to face the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday, April 5th. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:49 p.m.