The top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers are moving on to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the seventh time under Bo Ryan after beating eighth-seeded Oregon 72-65 in a West Region 3rd Round game in Omaha, Neb.
Wisconsin’s frontline of Sam Dekker (17), Frank Kaminsky (16), and Nigel Hayes (14) combined for 47 points; however, the real surprise was redshirt sophomore Zak Showalter scoring five points and grabbing a career-high five rebounds off the bench.
The Badgers built an 11-point first half lead, which dwindled down to three by halftime. Oregon’s pursuit continued in the second half as the Ducks eventually tied the game at 52 with just under six minutes remaining. Wisconsin answered with a quick 6-0, and finished the game by outscoring the Ducks 20-13. Dekker picked up right where he left off in the tournament opener, hitting 3-of-8 three-pointers and scoring 14 of his points after halftime. The rest of the team combined to shoot 4-of-15, but made up for it with a 21-for-29 effort at the free throw line.
The win came exactly one year to the day after Wisconsin rallied to beat Oregon 85-77 in a third round game played in front of a loud, partisan crowd at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
The win advances the Badgers to Thursday’s Midwest Region semifinal against fourth-seeded North Carolina. That game will tip-off at 6:45 (on TBS) in Los Angeles. The winner will play the winner of #2 Arizona and #6 Xavier in the Elite 8.