Bo Ryan pleased with Badgers' No. 5 seed in NCAA Tournament
Wisconsin men's basketball coach Bo Ryan says he's happy to get a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Badgers will take on Southeastern Conference champion Ole Miss on Friday in a West Regional game in Kansas City.
Some fans were looking for a fourth seed after the Badgers upset Michigan and Indiana on back to back days in the Big Ten Tournament. Some of that luster was removed Sunday, when Wisconsin fell to Ohio State in the Big Ten final.
On the other hand, there were pundits picking the Badgers as low as eighth in the conference last fall. That could have put the Wisconsin in danger of not getting a 15th straight NCAA berth.
Ryan says he takes nothing for granted and he's proud his players achieved what they did - especially during the conference tourney, which he called "three grueling days."
On Friday, the Badgers will play a team that's getting hot at the right time. Sunday, Ole Miss won its first SEC tournament crown since 1981 with a win over Florida. Ryan said every team's tough in the NCAA. They've all shown they can "get things done."
The Rebels are 26-8 after a big second-half Sunday, in which Marshall Henderson scored 18 of his -21 points. Ole Miss is 1-1 against Florida this season.
The Badgers lost to Florida by 18 in mid-November. In Ryan's words, "Ole Miss has shown they can do quite a few things."
Big Ten title game
Wisconsin failed to score a basket in the final seven minutes Sunday, when Ohio State topped the Badgers 50-43 in the Big Ten men's tournament final in Chicago.
The Buckeyes won their league-best fifth tournament crown. The Badgers failed to give their seniors a championship, having last won the tourney in 2008. The 22nd-ranked Badgers shot 40 percent in the first half, when they took a one-point lead to the locker room. They ended up shooting 38 percent for the game, while making just 3 of 18 from three-point range.
The 10th-ranked Buckeyes also shot 38 percent, but they were more aggressive on the boards with 12 offensive rebounds and 13 second-chance points.
DeShaun Thomas led Ohio State with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Traevon Jackson was the only scorer in double figures for Wisconsin. He had 10.
Jackson and his teammate Ryan Evans made the All-Tournament squad. Aaron Craft of Ohio State was the tourney's MVP.
The Buckeyes improved to 26-7 and later earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA's West Region. Wisconsin fell to 23-11.
Badgers defeat Michigan in tourney opener
The Wisconsin Badgers shot a blistering 61 percent in the second half to beat the sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines 68-59 on Friday.
Traevon Jackson led Wisconsin with 16 points and Ben Brust added 14. Ryan Evans scored a dozen, to go with six rebounds and six assists.
The Badgers couldn't seem to find the range in a first half that saw them miss 24 of 29 shots from the floor. Michigan wasn't much better.
When shots started to drop, Wisconsin scored 10 points in a row to take a five-point lead with just over 15 minutes left. The Badgers extended that to 11 with six minutes to go.
The ugly first half saw the two teams combined for 14 turnovers, a number almost matching the 15 field goals they managed coax into the net.
Beat Indiana to advance to championship game
Ryan Evans led the way with 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots as Wisconsin upended Indiana in the semifinal round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament. Final score was 68-56.
The No. 3-ranked Hoosiers clawed their way to within a point at 50-49 with a little less than 10 minutes to go, but the Badgers outscored them 18-7 the rest of the way. It was the 12th straight time Wisconsin had beaten Indiana. Ben Brust scored a dozen points for a Badger team which is getting hot at the right time, winning three in a row and six out of the last eight games. Jared Berggren and Sam Decker scored 11 points apiece.
Blugolds win NCAA Division III hockey championship
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire didn't panic when Oswego State scored the first two goals of the NCAA Division III Championship game. The Blugolds came back to win 5-3.
The contest was played at Herb Brooks Arena, the site of the historic 1980 "Miracle on Ice."
After falling behind by a couple of goals, Eau Claire scored four times in a row, then added a fifth goal for the school's ninth national championship. The hockey team had been national champions once before in 1984.