Final Four means just another donut to Wisconsin coach Ryan

ARLINGTON, Texas — This is Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan’s first trip to the Final Four, but it’s not his first NCAA Championship.

Before coaching the Badgers, Ryan coached Wisconsin-Platteville to four NCAA Division III national titles.

Ryan was asked the difference between coaching for the Division III title and coaching in a Final Four.

"The day before we played the national championship game in the years that I was in Division III, I had a diet pop — I always said ‘soda’ until I got to Wisconsin, now it’s ‘pop’ — and a cream donut at the Krispy Kreme place, and enjoyed that," Ryan said Friday. "Read the paper, did some crossword puzzles, and went to the game the next day.

"The difference? I haven’t had a cream-filled donut today. I haven’t had a diet pop. You get to answer a lot of questions that you don’t get asked in Division III."

Ryan’s Wisconsin team will take on Kentucky in Saturday’s second semifinal game at colossal AT&T Stadium.

While the stage has gotten bigger since his Division III days, Ryan said the basics of coaching remain the same.

"I try to make sure it’s never paralysis by analysis, so I try to keep it pretty basic with my team," Ryan said. "But I’m hoping to get that donut here later today, I tell you that."

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire