Villanova Follows Up Shaky Outing with Experienced Wisconsin

Caroline Beck
March 19, 2017

Northwestern, playing their first ever Big Dance game, beat Vanderbilt and advanced to the round of 32. A Hart 3 and layup off his midcourt steal whittled what had been a 20-12 Wisconsin lead before Jenkins hit a J. Big Ten coaches realized during that rough stretch for the Badgers that they could double team Happ.

Expect a tough-fought game by the Villanova regulars, particularly from rising-star Donte DiVincenzo.

Certainly shooting almost 42 percent from behind the 3-point line would buoy Wisconsin's chances against Villanova, as it factored into the win over Virginia Tech. If the team can shoot like it did on Thursday in the second half (50 percent), they're in good shape. Lauri Markkanen and Rawle Atkins each scored 20 points. DiVincenzo made up for it by hitting a 3-pointer on Villanova's next possession. "And then I remember getting really exhausted in the second half".

The Badgers lead at halftime 31-27 before Villanova took a small lead in the second half. And Wisconsin is a Top-10 defensive team with rugged players like Hayes, Ethan Happ, and Vitto Brown in the rotation.

It's the Badgers 19th straight tournament appearance. Previous year we played in the national championship game.

Sometimes it ends with a dogpile on the last Monday night of the college basketball season with the world watching and a One Shining Moment tribute, and most of the time it doesn't, and this time it ended in sorrow in the KeyBank Center. VCU managed to erase a 17-point deficit, but it was only to come close, not really make a difference. They'll face No. 7 seed University of South Carolina in the first round Friday night in Greenville, South Carolina. Defensively, Villanova is yielding 62.8 points per game against the opposing teams.

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Even the lower-seeded teams that won were not surprising. "They have an elite-level player that can get 30 on anybody in this tournament". They had reached two Final Fours, upset two No. 1 seeds and two No. 2's along the way. Putting up a career-high 28 points, Koening revealed a penchant for scoring in any form possible-at a time where peak performance is a requirement, Koening brought the necessary offensive heat. They play Northwestern first.

Being 6-10 is rarely a drawback in the game of basketball, and Happ has used it to his advantage - combining a large low-post presence with the ability to scoot around defenders easily. The Badgers, as underrated as they were coming into the tournament, now have a clear path to the title game - but not an easy one. Bonzie Colson scored 18 points, and will be up against West Virginia next.

The most impressive part of that total is that Hayes hasn't missed any games.

There's an in-state "rivalry" between Wisconsin and Marquette that is made out to be more than what it is (in my humble opinion), but the Big East is a fine conference that plays some great basketball. However, Villanova's redshirt freshman split a pair of free throws with 36.4 seconds left, giving the ball back to Wisconsin and Gard called time.

#12 UNC Wilmington 71 #5 Virginia 76: 147 points in a Virginia game?

With a crown come expectations, sometimes unrealistic ones.

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