The 2-seed Wisconsin Badgers punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 in a thrilling comeback victory over the 7-seed Oregon Ducks in Milwaukee last night.
The Badgers came out of halftime on fire, (once down 14 in the first half, they trailed by 12 at the half) going on a 17-6 run to begin the second half. That run propelled them into the lead. But, it would be senior Ben Brusts’ late three-pointer, the school record for most all-time, that put Wisconsin over the top. Frank Kaminsky pulled down an offensive board and knew to find Brust.
“I was about to pull it,” Kaminsky said. “I saw Ben and when he’s open, he’s hitting that like 90 percent of the time.”
Hit it he did.
Sophomore Sam Dekker took a vicious punch of sorts to the mouth going up for an alley-oop; apparently bending at least one tooth. But he remained in the game, and remained effective. That’s grit. That’s toughness. He spoke on that, after the game,
“When you can get those little toughness points, a lot of times things are going to come back for you.”
Good things sure did come back for the Badgers.
Wisconsin has to be feeling good as they head into the Sweet 16. It won its first game against 15-seed American by 40 and was able to launch an amazing comeback in a gritty win against Oregon.
Two games down, four to go.
The Badgers’ next game is the most important game though; the only one that matters. In that game, they will face either the Creighton Bluejays or the Baylor Bears.
Everything you need to know about this matchup, when it is and where you can watch it, can be found here. Get to know Bucky’s next opponent!
Baylor has a strong defense and it plays an athletic style offensively; which could cause the Badgers fits. The Bears played in one of the toughest conferences in the nation and are incredibly battle-tested. They will be a pesky squad for anyone to deal with. But, Creighton features one of the top players in the entire tournament in Doug McDermott. He’s coming off a 30 point game in the Bluejays’ opening tournament game and averaged an astonishing 27 PPG on the season; albeit against lesser competition. McDermott can score from inside and out and will, undoubtably, cause problems for every team he faces.
So the question is…
We’ll know tonight who the Badgers must face next in their hopes to make it to the Elite 8, for only the second time in the Bo Ryan Era.