Badgers make Sweet Sixteen with 70-65 win over K-State
Tucson, AZ (Sports Network) - Jordan Taylor couldn't stop Jacob Pullen for most of the game, but the Wisconsin guard came up with two big defensive plays against his counterpart down the stretch to secure the Badgers' 70-65 win over Kansas State in the final third-round game of the Southeast Regional.
Taylor, who shot a woeful 2-for-16 from the field, put in his 11th and 12th points from the free throw line with 10.1 seconds to go to give the fourth- seeded Badgers a 68-65 advantage.
The Wildcats called a timeout and drew up a play for the red-hot Pullen, who missed just one of his seven three-point attempts leading up to the final play. Pullen used a pick and pulled up from behind the arc on the left wing, only to be blocked by Taylor with time winding down.
Josh Gasser picked up the loose ball and drained two free throws to seal Wisconsin's trip to the Sweet 16, where it will face eighth-seeded Butler in the regional semifinals in New Orleans. Butler upset top-seeded Pittsburgh earlier Saturday.
Jon Leuer received several stitches after taking a blow to the head in the first half and still led Wisconsin (25-8) with 19 points.
Pullen ended with 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting for the fifth-seeded Wildcats (23-11), who made it all the way to the Elite Eight last year.
Pullen put Kansas State on his back throughout, making a layup to tie the game, 59-59, with 3 1/2 minutes left.
Leuer was sent to the foul line twice around Pullen's putback of his own miss. He made the first two attempts but missed both tries on his second trip with 2:13 to play, keeping it 61-all.
Leuer stepped out of bounds grabbing a rebound at the other end, but Taylor stole Pullen's entry pass and dished to Mike Bruesewitz along the right wing for a go-ahead three-pointer.
After a Pullen basket and Taylor airball, Pullen tried splitting a pair of defenders and lost control of the ball. Leuer and Pullen both put in two free throws prior to the dramatic finish.
Taylor, Bruesewitz and Tim Jarmusz each hit from long range during a 12-3 run that put Wisconsin ahead 32-26 with just over two minutes to go in a back-and- forth first half.
The margin was still six at the break, 36-30, before Pullen put on a show in the first five minutes of the second half.
The preseason All-American scored eight points in a 10-0 run to open the stanza, highlighting the spurt by faking a behind-the-back pass and putting in an easy deuce in transition.