Still standing: Bucky Badger headed to Final Four
MILWAUKEE - For the first time in Bo Ryan's career at Wisconsin, the Badgers are headed to the Final Four.
Wisconsin defeated Arizona 64-63 in an overtime thriller in the West Regional Final in Anaheim, California Saturday evening. Frank Kaminsky's 28 points and 11 rebounds helped pace one of the most frantic, tightest games in recent tournament memory for Wisconsin.
The Badgers took a 54-52 lead on a Traevon Jackson driving basket with a minute remaining in regulation, but Arizona rallied to tie the game. A shot to win rattled off the rim, and the Wildcats and Badgers went to an extra period.
Kaminsky tipped in an errant shot to give Wisconsin a 64-61 lead in the overtime. But Arizona's Jordin Mayes cut the lead to one and, after an inbounds pass was ruled to have gone off Jackson's hand, Arizona had possession and 2.3 seconds to try to win the game.
Nick Johnson couldn't get a shot off before the final buzzer. It wouldn't have mattered. The shot missed, sending an ecstatic Wisconsin team and its emotional coach Ryan to Arlington.
The Badgers last advanced to the Final Four in 2000, when Dick Bennett was the head coach. Wisconsin was in the West Region and beat Arizona, the #1 seed in that region, in 2000 as well.
The Badgers will play next Saturday, April 5th in Arlington, Texas in the Final Four. That game will be televised on TBS.
The National Championship Game is Monday, April 7th.