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Wisconsin legend Brian Butch on the Badgers, the Big Ten and his new radio gig

The Appleton native is now the color commentator on Wisconsin's radio broadcasts, and has had a front row seat for the team's impressive six-game winning streak.
Posted at 7:09 PM, Dec 06, 2023

MADISON, Wis. (NBC 26) — With his playing days behind him, Brian Butch has carved out a highly successful media career - from college basketball on FOX to Wisconsin Herd games on TV 32.

Now, the Appleton native and former Badgers star is back at his alma mater as the color commentator for Wisconsin basketball's radio broadcasts.

"To be able to represent the university in this way is always one of those things that you look at and say - they respect what you've done as a player but they respect what you've done after basketball more," Butch said. "That means a lot."

He's been treated to a memorable early-season run. The Badgers have won six straight games, including an upset victory over No. 3 Marquette on Saturday and a road win at Michigan State to open Big Ten play on Tuesday.

Wisconsin returned most of last year's squad that made a run in the NIT, but Butch said new players - such as sophomore guard AJ Storr, who is averaging a team-high 14.2 points per game - have keyed the success.

"Everybody knew 92 percent of the scoring was back," Butch said. "But they've added new pieces."

"I think there's still room for this group to improve," he added. "Which is really scary because they've beaten the No. 3 team in the country and a top four team to start the year off in Michigan State and they never trailed in either one of those games."

It's too early to get a gauge on Wisconsin's ultimate ceiling, but Butch sees the sky as the limit and said a Big Ten championship is not out of the question in 2024.

"They are the second-best team in this conference right now (with Purdue being the best)," he said. "That to me is a no-doubt answer."

"I'm not a 'homer.' It's not because I call the games. I've seen them," Butch added.

No. 23 Wisconsin has another tough game coming up as it heads out west to take on No. 1 Arizona on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 2:15 p.m. on ESPN.