The 9th-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (18-12) had a magnificent performance and dominated the 8th-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (18-11) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 85-62, inside Mackey Arena.
It was Roy Williams’ first ever loss (29-1) in the round of 64 in his head coaching career. How many more blue blood undefeated streaks does Wisconsin have to end?
What a win. Never bet against seniors in March. UW’s senior-dominated team didn’t flinch and moved on to the round of 32.
This was the Wisconsin Badgers that we expected to see this year. Instead, from January to mid-February was an elaborate rope a dope.
It was a grown man effort. UW played 40 minutes tonight and they earned 40 more.
The Badgers had a 40-24 lead at halftime. It was the largest halftime lead since January 27. It was also the biggest halftime lead the Badgers have EVER had in a NCAA Tournament game.
Wisconsin’s defense was outstanding for all 40 minutes in the game. Phenomenal effort on that end of the court. As we all know, great defense leads to great offense and that’s what you need to win at this level.
For the game, UW shot 31-of-61 (50.8%) from the field, 13-of-27 (48.1%) from 3-point range and 10-of-12 (83.3%) at the free throw line. The Badgers also had just six turnovers.
The Badgers out-rebounded the Tar Heels, 38-35, and only allowed UNC to grab 10 offensive rebounds when they averaged 16 on the season.
Brad Davison was on fire today, scoring 29 points on 10-for-15 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
D’Mitrik Trice added 21 points on 8-of-15 from the field and 3-of-8 from 3-point range.
While Trice and Davison were the only two players to score in double-figures, UW had plenty of others step up and hit timely buckets when UNC was trying to cut into the UW lead.
Brad Davison was asked what kind of statement this game made: “We’re here to make an impact and make a run in this tournament.” Davison later said that they were looking forward to Sunday and said “We’re not finished yet.”
The Badgers will play the 1-seed Baylor Bears (23-2) on Sunday, March 21. Tipoff time, site and television hasn’t been announced yet.
UW Head Coach Greg Gard on playing Baylor: “It goes from playing a really good team to playing one of the nations best. I want the guys to enjoy this tonight. We’ll give them all the Baylor information they want tomorrow.”