Packers back Badgers in title chase

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers cheers during the second half of the NCAA basketball regional final between Wisconsin and Arizona in Los Angeles last month.

As anticipation builds for the University of Wisconsin's first national basketball championship game appearance since 1941, several Green Bay Packers are coming along for the ride in some form or fashion.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be in Indianapolis on Monday night for the Badgers' showdown with Duke, much as he's been during most of the Badgers' run, according to ESPN.

WTMJ of Milwaukee reported that Packers coach Mike McCarthy is expected to attend after watching Saturday night's 71-64 win over previously undefeated Kentucky.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, a former Wisconsin star, and former Badgers basketball guards Michael Finley and Devin Harris also are expected to be on hand.

It's been 74 years since the Badgers won their only national championship, upsetting Washington State in a 39-34 win in front of 9,350 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. So exactly how long ago was that?

Well, Vince Lombardi was a 27-year-old assistant football coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, N.J., at the time of the Badgers' last title. It would be another 13 years until Lombardi received his first NFL coaching job as the offensive coordinator of the New York Giants in 1954.

In Green Bay, Curly Lambeau's Packers were coming off a 6-4-1 campaign in 1940. The highlight of that season was receiver Don Hutson being named All-Pro for the third time in his career after catching 45 passes for 664 yards and an NFL-best seven touchdown receptions.

Later in 1941, a 28-year-old Hutson would claim his first of two NFL MVP distinctions.

Rodgers and a number of his current Packers teammates showed their support for the Badgers on Twitter after Wisconsin's Final Four victory over the Wildcats:

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers

WR Randall Cobb (who played at Kentucky)

RB Eddie Lacy

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

G T.J. Lang

T Bryan Bulaga

WR Jared Abbrederis (Wautoma native and Wisconsin alumnus)

CB Jarrett Bush

DL Datone Jones

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