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Wisconsin Sports Round Up: Bucks Clinch Top Seed, Badgers Ranked In Preseason Coaches Poll

The Green Bay Packers Announced Thursday No Fans Will Be At Their First Two Home Games

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Wisconsin Badgers football coach Paul Chryst
Wisconsin Badgers football coach Paul Chryst watches the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Rutgers in Madison on Nov. 3, 2018. Morry Gash/AP Photo

After months of inaction due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been a busy week in the Wisconsin sports world.

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Bucks staged a major comeback to beat the Miami Heat 130-116 and clinch the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Eric Bledsoe played 23 minutes in his second game back after testing positive for COVID-19 before the season resumed.

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“It felt a lot better yesterday,” he said Friday.

With the NBA finishing its season in Orlando, Florida, the Bucks will miss out on home court advantage at Fiserv Forum, but the bubble seems to be holding. The league released its latest round of COVID-19 test results Wednesday, and they all came back negative.

Packers: No Fans At Lambeau For First Two Games

On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers announced there will be no fans at their first two home games.

“Lambeau Field will not be the same without our fans’ energetic support in the stands,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. “Given the extraordinary circumstances this year and the additional protocols in place, though, we determined it was best to take incremental steps to start the regular season.”

With no preseason this year, the Packers will use the first two games to focus on implementing their pandemic protocols, Murphy said, adding that he’s hopeful some fans will be able to attend games later in the year.

According to the Packers, season ticket holders who opted in amid the pandemic will receive instructions on how to purchase tickets, should they become available.

Titletown will be open to the public when the Packers host the Detroit Lions on Sept. 20 and the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 5, but all public areas of Lambeau Field, including the pro shop and the parking lot, will be closed.

Thursday’s announcement didn’t come as a surprise. Two-thirds of the team’s revenue comes from television contracts, and preserving that income is a priority this season, Murphy said last month.

Badgers Ranked In Top 25

The Big Ten announced this week it plans to start football season in less than a month. The Wisconsin Badgers are scheduled to host the Indiana Hoosiers at Camp Randall Stadium on Sept. 4.

Just because the schedule is out doesn’t mean the Big Ten is sticking to it, said Colten Bartholomew, a Badgers football reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

“The Big Ten was very intentional about saying, just because we’re releasing a schedule doesn’t mean we are guaranteeing we’re going to play, or we’re setting this in stone,” he said.

Conference officials said football season will only take place if it can be done safely.

Expectations will be high should the Badgers take the field this season — the team ranked No. 12 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll.

On Thursday, the University of Wisconsin-Madison released its latest round of coronavirus test results.

According to the athletic department, 259 student-athletes have participated in voluntary workouts this summer. The department has conducted 1,788 COVID-19 tests since early June, with 21 student-athletes testing positive.

Yelich Hits Inside-The-Park Homer In Brewers Win

It’s been a rough start to the season for 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich, but he got lucky Thursday, he said. The Milwaukee Brewers star turned what looked like a routine fly ball into an inside-the-park home run.

According to Major League Baseball, Yelich became the first player in Brewers history to hit a home run and get walked four times in one game. Milwaukee beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3.

On Thursday, the Brewers announced updates to their schedule after last weekend’s series against the St. Louis Cardinals was postponed due to positive coronavirus tests.

The Brewers and the Cardinals are now scheduled to play three doubleheaders on Sept. 14, Sept. 16 and Sept. 25 respectively.

On Friday, the Brewers announced the cancellation of their annual winter festival, Brewers on Deck.

“It’s impossible to know at this time what restrictions may be in place that would require a different footprint or format for Brewers On Deck in January,” Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said in a statement. “It takes many months of lead time for our staff to plan and execute the event, and with so many uncertainties we unfortunately have to make this decision now.”

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