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Former professional golfer Andy North, left, and Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan watch as the team practices for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Friday, April 4, 2014, in Dallas. Wisconsin plays Kentucky on Saturday, April 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- When Andy North's beloved Wisconsin Badgers got to their only other NCAA Final Four, they weren't there long enough for the two-time U.S. Open golf champion to share in the experience.

That was at Indianapolis in 2000, the same weekend North was playing in his first Champions Tour event.

"I did go the weekend before and I was there when they won and cut the nets down to go to the Final Four," North said Friday. "I had a deal with them that I'd be there Monday if they got to Monday."

But the Badgers lost to Michigan State in the national semifinals.

North, who lives in Madison and is a good friend of Badgers coach Bo Ryan, is with them for their first Final Four since then. They play Kentucky on Saturday, and with a win could potentially play Florida, where North went to college.

"All I care is that Wisconsin gets to Monday," he said. "I loved Florida, I loved my experience there. ... But I've lived my whole life basically in Madison. You get involved in the program and your head coach is one of your best buddies. It's hard not to get involved, and I jumped in with both feet."

-- Stephen Hawkins --


NCAA Finals Watch follows the Final Four games and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press in North Texas -- from the big stadium in Arlington where the games will be played to downtown Dallas. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

FINALS WATCH: North with Badgers at Final Four FINALS WATCH: North with Badgers at Final Four
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