What were the stories that shaped Wisconsin sports in 2016? Here are the top 10 as voted on by the FOXSportsWisconsin.com staff.
Others receiving votes
Not making the cut but garnering votes (in order of total): Wisconsin knocks off No. 5 LSU 16-14 at Lambeau Field; Brewers manager Craig Counsell signs three-year contract extension; Bucks selecting Thon Maker in NBA Draft; Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes returning for senior season; Badgers play five teams ranked in the top five of the AP top-25 in first 8 games; Brewers continue rebuild in December, trading Tyler Thornburg and Martin Maldonado, releasing Chris Carter and signing Eric Thames; Marquette's Henry Ellenson leaves after one year, is selected in first round; Bucks break ground on new arena, complex; Brewers trade starting outfielder Khris Davis to A's; Paul Chryst starts redshirts freshman QB Alex Hornibrook in Week 4; UW defensive coordinator Dave Aranda for LSU.
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10. Jonathan Villar becomes 3rd player in Brewers franchise history to lead majors in stolen bases (62)
A bit of an unknown quantity, Jonathan Villar was acquired in an offseason trade and given a chance to start with Milwaukee. He ended up being a sparkplug on offense, batting .285 with 19 home runs, but also stealing 62 bases to become the first Brewers player to lead the majors in steals and first since Scott Podsednik in 2004. (The other was Tommy Harper with the Seattle Pilots in 1969.)
USA TODAY SportsCharles LeClaire
9. Bucks' Khris Middleton injured before start of training camp, our for most, if not all, of the season
The optimism for Milwaukee's season had some air taken out if it before it even began when Middleton, who led the Bucks in scoring in 2015-16, tore his hamstring the day before the start of training camp.
NBAE via Getty ImagesGary Dineen
8. Paul Chryst named Big Ten coach of the year
Wisconsin entered the season with one of the toughest schedules in the nation plus had to navigate it with a new starting quarterback. Chryst not only successfully navigated the Badgers through the gauntlet but he guided UW to a 10-2 regular-season record, earning him kudos from the conference.
USA TODAY SportsThomas J. Russo
7. Bronson Koenig hits game-tying and game-winning 3s to beat Xavier and advance to Sweet 16
Wisconsin's point guard hadn't been shooting well from outside in the run-up to this game, but Koenig hit six 3s including two clutch deep shots in the final 11.7 seconds, including one at the buzzer, to lift the seventh-seeded Badgers past No. 2 seed Xavier in this NCAA tournament upset.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo records 3 triple-doubles in 14 days
The most triple-doubles a Bucks player ever had in a season was three. Giannis Antetokonunmpo announced himself to the world outside Milwaukee when from Feb. 22-March 6 he accomplished the feat against the Lakers, Rockets and Thunder. Just for good measure, "The Greek Freak" had two more triple-doubles last season and has two in 2016-17, already leaving him one shy of the Milwaukee career record.
USA TODAY SportsBenny Sieu
5. Greg Gard named Wisconsin head coach
When Bo Ryan stepped down as head coach early in the 2015-16 season, Gard was named interim boss, with a national search for the new head coach expected. But after a slow start in Big Ten play, Gard led the Badgers to seven straight wins and 11 of 12, including road victories at then-No. 2 Maryland and then-No. 8 Iowa, and a 12-6 conference record. The day after the regular season ended, Gard was rewarded with a five-year contract to be Wisconsin's head coach.
USA TODAY SportsMary Langenfeld
4. NFC Divisional playoff: Packers tie Cardinals with Hail Mary to force overtime, then lose on first series
One Hail Mary for a team in a season is rare, but two? Green Bay got miracle No. 2 at an opportune time, with time running out to keep the Packers' playoff hopes alive by sending the game against Arizona into overtime when Jeff Janis reeled in Aaron Rodgers' 41-yard prayer. However, the extension was just temporary as the Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald quickly got Arizona into scoring position on the first play in OT with a 75-yard reception and scored two plays later.
USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
3. Badgers win Big Ten West, blow big lead in championship game
Before the season, few thought Wisconsin would make the Big Ten title game, but the Badgers surprised many to finish 10-2 on the season and 7-2 in conference play, including beating everyone in the West. UW then took a 28-7 lead over Penn State in the championship, but before you could say "college football playoff" the Nittany Lions roared back, outscoring the Badgers 24-3 in the second half to down UW 38-31.
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2. Brewers trade longtime catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Texas Rangers
Jonathan Lucroy came up to the Brewers in 2010 and quickly established himself as both a good offensive and defensive player, not to mention a fan favorite. But with Milwaukee rebuilding and Lucroy haivng turned 30 and scheduled to be a free agent after the 2017 season, the Brewers sent him to Texas for prospects in a trade deadline deal. Lucroy, who left Milwaukee with the best batting average and most home runs by a Brewers catcher, did get a chance to thank the fans -- and they him -- with one final pinch-hit appearance the day before the trade.
Associated PressBenny Sieu
1. Brett Favre elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame
There might not be any more iconic figure in Wisconsin sports history than Brett Favre. His divorce from the Packers was ugly and filled with fan backlash. But his return to the Green Bay family -- and his subsequent election and induction to the Hall of Fame -- was filled with nothing but love and great memories. Favre's induction, to no surprise, came in his first year of eligibility, and Packers fans flooded Canton, Ohio for the ceremony. A fitting tribute to one of the most popular players in franchise -- and NFL -- history.