Wisconsin Upsets NCAA Defending Champions Villanova

Dana Altman

The year before, Wichita State lost to Kentucky in the second round as a No. 1 seed, a game that cleared the way for the eighth-seeded Wildcats to reach the national title game against eventual champion CT.

Koenig and Hayes are demonstrably great NCAA tournament players, but they erred that night in Philadelphia. The Musketeers are following Trevon Bluiett's lead into the Sweet 16 in an impressive run without point guard Edmond Sumner (torn ACL in January), with victories over Maryland and Florida State. "I drove baseline and if you guys are familiar with the Michael Jordan highlight - the fake spin-back - I did my fake spin-back, got to my left hand and fortunately it went in". The result was that the ball went to Josh Hart in two key possessions and Wisconsin knew full well that the ball was going to Josh Hart.

Losing five out of seven conference games late in the year is not the optimal way to close out a campaign, but the challenges prepared the Badgers and helped them gain the confidence to win games when things aren't going well or they're not favored.

"You have all types of your ranking systems, statistic, analytics guys that they put out", Hayes said. The thing with all those algorithms, they can't calculate heart, will to win, toughness, desire.

Villanova guard Jalen Brunson leaves the court as Wisconsin players celebrate the upset win. "It would be a really cool thing if we could do that".

The game was tied at 37 with 13:41 remaining when Koenig picked up his fourth foul. For as well-honed and unflinching an apparatus as Villanova was during its post-championship season, it was jarring to see it look so out of sorts for much of its brief tournament stay this March, often rushing for sub-optimal shots and botching even some quality looks.

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But Koenig sat for more than eight minutes, by which time the Wildcats pried open a seven-point lead and Gard had no choice but to put his star guard back in. Obviously, I've watched him for four years here with us. Vitto Brown, the Badgers' fifth starter, is a 6-foot-8, 237-pound forward who can swing between multiple positions on defense and stretch the floor from the 3-point line. Markkanen finished with 16 points and 11 boards. "I think a lot of us are still stunned".

MI shot 11-for-15 from three - in the second half. Villanova was going to have to make fundamental mistakes to lose.

Does anyone really think Wisconsin can get past No. 2 seed Xavier in the second round?

"Obviously we're playing against some great teams from here on out, it'll be hard, but I believe in my guys, I believe in myself and I believe if we stick to our brand of basketball and leave it all out there on the court we have a good chance". But Koenig, the team's best shooter and facilitator, appears to be healthy again. "You want to be like Kris and Josh and Darryl". DiVincenzo did miss two breakaway dunks, but that was the only time he looked unsure in his first NCAA Tournament game.

The most impressive part about Wisconsin's win was its ability pull it out despite having two of its best players in foul trouble for much of the game. That's incredible. It's a moment that Villanova fans will never forget, and the shot that won the title will go down in history and one of the greatest moments in the history of sports.

All of the games will be streamed though March Madness Live.

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