No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers Escape No. 14 Colgate Raiders

In March all wins are beautiful wins. Survive and Advance.

The No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (25-7) escape with a 67-60 victory over the No. 14 Colgate Raiders (23-12) in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament!

It was a 28-28 game at intermission and then Colgate’s first six baskets to start the second half were from 3-point range, several of them were from 25 feet, and the Raiders had a 52-48 lead with 10:40 left.

Disclaimer: I was very nervous at this point of the game.

Chris Vogt got UW to within 52-50 with 10:14 remaining and the Badgers took the lead for good at 53-52 on a Steven Crowl 3 with 8:12 left.

Johnny Davis scored UW’s final 14 points of the game.

You often hear coaches say their defenders need to run shooters off the 3-point line. The Badgers put on a clinic for running off the 3-point line in the final 10 minutes Friday night against Colgate. Not sure why it took UW that long, but the Badgers did it just in time.

Johnny Davis postgame said they just stopped being lazy defensively. Was the difference down the stretch. Head Coach Greg Gard quipped “at least he’s honest.”

Davis praised the crowd and then said there was no way they were gonna take an upset in their home state. He said they have to do it again Sunday.

Gard postgame joked that Joe Krabbenhoft almost had a heart attack in one of the timeouts after Colgate started 6-for-7 from 3. Very intense.

Johnny Davis had a vintage Davis spurt where he took over the game on consecutive possessions with a couple of drives and a 3. Tyler Wahl set the tone after halftime by aggressively hunting shots at the rim despite double teams.

I’m still waiting for Joe Lunardi and Henry Bushnell to get back to me about their prediction of Wisconsin getting upset by Colgate. I’m still up enjoying Wisconsin’s win over Colgate.

Just a reminder: All the haters will have their day, maybe even Sunday. But the tournament is hard. And you need to enjoy the victories because what else is the point.

Johnny Davis finished with a game-high 25 points on 8-for-20 from the field and eight rebounds. Davis was huge down the stretch, but he forced too much in the first half.

Tyler Wahl was a stud defensively and finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Ben Carlson was big off the bench for UW, particularly in the first half. Carlson’s plus/minus in the first half was plus-12. It was a really solid performance from him off the bench with four points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.

It was almost incredible that Wisconsin won this game because Colgate played out of their damn minds.

Colgate head coach Matt Langel said they’ve played at Duke, Kansas and a bunch of other tough places. But he said he doesn’t think they’ve ever been in a better basketball environment for college basketball than tonight.

Up Next:

The No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers will play the No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones (21-12) in the Round of 32 on Sunday, March 20th. Tipoff is set for 5:10 PM (Central Time) and will be nationally televised on TNT.

Wisconsin is 2-5 all-time against Iowa State. The last meeting between these two programs was a 103-79 Iowa State win on December 28th, 1981.

It’ll also be an all-Wisconsin coaching battle. Greg Gard (Cobb native) vs T.J. Otzelberger, a Milwaukee native.

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