Badgers Come Up Short In NCAA Championship Game
Posted: Apr 7, 2015 1:28 PM CST | Updated: Jul 13, 2015 4:53 PM CST
The game, played in front of more than 71,000 people at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, capped Wisconsin's 36-win season, where the Badgers fell just one victory short of a national title. An even contest throughout, Wisconsin's largest lead in the first half was just three points. For Duke, it was six before the two teams entered half time tied, 31-31.
Wisconsin grabbed an early lead coming out in the second half, scoring seven of the first nine points, and managed to build the lead to 48-39 less by the 13:23 mark. But Duke (35-4) clawed back over the next six minutes, eventually tying the game at 54. A minute later, the Blue Devils would take the lead, 59-58, and would never give it back up.
Senior forward Frank Kaminsky once again led the Badgers in points and rebounds, tallying 21 and 12 respectively in 39 minutes of play. But Duke held junior Sam Dekker to just 12 points, and head coach Bo Ryan played just seven players. All five starters played more than 30 minutes.
Kaminsky sent out an uplifting tweet about an hour after the game saying, \"Never been more proud of a group in my entire life. What we achieved will never be taken away from us. Thank you for having me @UWMadison.\"
Duke center Jahlil Okafor played just 22 minutes because of foul trouble. Okafor scored 10 points and had three rebounds. But it was another freshman, guard Tyus Jones, who helped secure the victory. Jones, from Apple Valley, Minnesota, scored 23 points and scooped up five rebounds in 37 minutes.
Monday's victory game Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski his fifth national title, second behind only former UCLA coach John Wooden.
The Badgers capped an incredible season which saw them win 28 regular season games, capture their first #1 NCAA tournament seed in school history, and claim sole possession of the Big Ten regular season title for the first time since 2008.