MADISON, Wis. — Apparently, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team has found its anthem for the 2012-13 season. And it isn’t the type of song you’d expect from a bunch of male college athletes ages 18 to 22.
Following Wisconsin’s stunning 65-62 overtime victory against third-ranked Michigan on Saturday — which included a buzzer-beating, half-court shot to send the game to OT — the Badgers created a makeshift dance floor in the locker room. Players proceeded to jump up and down to “Die Young” by Ke$ha, and the video was captured by the school’s athletic department. It posted later that night and already has nearly 76,000 views.
According to Wisconsin players, it wasn’t the first time they rocked out to the pop star’s popular track.
“It was something that we play a little bit in the locker room, just having fun,” Wisconsin center Jared Berggren said. “Just kind of an upbeat, fun song. Before the Illinois game (Feb. 3), they started playing it down there in their pregame warmups, and we were kind of joking around. We all started getting a clap going to the beat. We were just bringing energy and having fun with it.
“Obviously, we went and got the win there and we just kind of carried it over. We’ve been winning since we’ve been playing it, so I guess we’ll stick to it.”
Wisconsin has won three consecutive games, beginning with that 74-68 victory at Illinois and has vaulted into the national rankings. The Badgers (17-7) are ranked No. 19 in the coaches’ top 25 poll and No. 20 in the Associated Press top 25.
Ke$ha herself caught wind of the video and tweeted early Tuesday morning to her nearly 3.3 million followers: “maybe the hottest/cutest thing I’ve EVER seen.”
Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz was among those players in the center of the dancing, although he admitted his initial reluctance to the song.
“It was forced upon me,” Bruesewitz said. “Everybody else on our team likes that song. I’m forced to follow these guys. Plus (reserve guard) Dan Fahey really likes that song. I think he plays it a lot in the bathroom. He sings to it all the time in the bathroom.
“And we played it a lot. I know a lot of the guys like it. I tried to get the crowd involved in it at the pregame stuff. I admitted to everybody that I don’t like the song. I’m not a huge fan of it. It’s kind of catchy. But after a big win like that, you’ve got to hold your bias back and just be excited about it.”
Added Badgers guard Traevon Jackson: “It’s the perfect song for us as a team. When that song comes on, it’s go time.”