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Badgers at Final Four have a different "home floor" to play on

Badgers Hoops copyright 2013 Midwest Communications, Inc.
Badgers Hoops copyright 2013 Midwest Communications, Inc.

ARLINGTON, TX (WSAU) -- The Wisconsin Badgers are in Texas for the Final Four, and they have a big piece of home with them. The floor is manufactured for the NCAA under a contract with Conner Sports International from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Conner Sports International says the floors actually start as towering maple trees from the Menominee Indian Reservation in northeastern Wisconsin. Conner Sports officials told the Dallas Morning News the trees are harvested in winter when the wood is lighter with less sap. Then, the four-by-seven foot tongue-in-groove panels are built in Menominee, Michigan. From there, the floor sections are sent to one of Conner’s finishing contractors for sanding and finishing before applying logos and court markings.

The “grade one” maple is the finest maple wood you can get. It takes about thirty trees to make one basketball court. When finished, there are 250 four-by-seven panels weighing about 50,000 pounds. It takes a professional crew about four hours to assemble the floor, even though each panel is numbered so it goes in the same place every time.