Sweet 16: Badgers in Philly, gearing up for matchup Friday night vs. Notre Dame

PHILADELPHIA -- The Wisconsin Badgers arrived in Philadelphia last on Wednesday night, March 23rd, and on Thursday, they practiced and met with the media ahead of their Sweet 16 matchup with Notre Dame on Friday night, March 25th.

The Badgers were the first team on the court on Thursday for practice at the Wells Fargo Center.

The No. 7 Badgers face the No. 6 Fighting Irish at 6:27 p.m. Friday.

On Thursday, the University of Wisconsin band and fans were there as the players and new Head Coach Greg Gard geared up for the big game.

"It's a dream come true to be able to have, be a role model for kids, in a sense. This is the biggest stage and to be able to compete on this level is a dream come true," Zak Showalter, Badgers guard said.

The players had some nice things to say about Coach Gard.

"He's really personable and has a great character. He's definitely taken this the right way. He's not getting big-headed or anything like that. He's still the same, down to Earth Coach Gard that we know him as. He definitely takes time to give back to the people who support him," Vitto Brown, Badgers forward said.

"He's here for us. He treats everyone the same, like we're all a part of his family. So it's just great being around him every day," Khalil Iverson, Badgers guard said.

Both the Badgers and the Fighting Irish got to the Sweet 16 with last-second, buzzer-beating shots.

Both teams reached the Elite 8 last year -- with the Badgers reaching the Final Four.

The hope is that after Friday night's game in Philly, the Badgers will play again on Sunday.