Wisconsin takes on #1 overall seed Villanova (V) in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament. And we’re already off to a great start. UW outlasted VATech in Round 1 and the defending champs took about a half to get warmed up before separating from #16-seed Mt St Mary’s in the opening round.
To be clear, the officiating was bad but I thought fairly consistent. UW never adjusted to the tight calls. I believe the theory UW struggled (Pre Kaminsky) in the NCAA Tourney because the B1G regular season is more physical than how things are called in the Dance.
The Holder get out to a fast start this time with a FT line jumper followed by a Happ turnover leading to a Hayes foul as Josh Hart attacks the rim. He splits. V showing 3/4 court pressure disrupting the Badger flow. Wisconsin doesn’t really start the offense until about 20 seconds on the timer. I’m surprised more teams don’t do this. It really isn’t expending that much energy. Brown sticks a 3 and V turns it over . Showalter off on a 3 but Brown in the right spot for the rebound. Hayes fouled off the dish from Koenig but misses both FT. Ouch. Patient UW and Brown continues his strong start feeding Happ who got deep position for 2. So far V has played Happ 1-on-1 and it hasn’t worked. V already with 3 turnovers. Happ baited them into a steal that time. Koenig glides in for a layup and Badgers up 9-3 early.
Wisconsin 9 Villanova 3 15:29′ 1st Half
Showalter’s man leaves him open to make a move at Happ but Showalter misses. Trice with the size disadvantage and commits a foul on the V miss. Trice with a quick 2nd foul guarding the ball and Koenig back in. Not a strong couple seconds there for the freshman. Koenig loses the guy off the inbounds and he hits a 3. So not great defense from either UW poitn guard. Happ called for a foul on the rebound. Good call. Hill and Iverson in for UW. Brown with his first mistake throwing the ball away and V swings the ball around for a 3 and its first lead. Brown answers back with a trey of his own. Everybody looks winded. Hayes not getting deep enough in the post. Koenig with a bad error for your Sr leader as he steps out of bounds on the kick out. Refs are calling it very tight on the glass. Thats my PSA for both teams. UW with its 4th turnover. Josh Hart abuses Hill and draws the foul.
The foul was on Happ and it was not a good call. He was straight up. I don’t understand why the offensive player jumping into the chest of the defender is a foul on the defender. But that is always the call.
Wisconsin 12 Villanova 10 11:49′ 1st Half
Happ to the bench with that bad call. Koenig hits a J. Hart does the same bush league stunt jumping into Showalter and miffed he didn’t get the call. That one looked closer to a foul than the call on Happ. Koenig again, this time a 3. Hayes with the size advantage over Hart and spins his way to an And1. Hart hits a corner 3. Trice back out there giving Koenig a rest. Lazy pass from Trice intercepted and 2 more for V as Wildcats back within 3.
Showalter burns a TO to save a possession as V traps Iverson.
Koenig missed 3 and Jenkins hits from the elbow as V creeps closer. Off the mark again V showing traps across half court. Forces UW to move a little quicker on offense.
Wisconsin 22 Villanova 19 7:02′ 1st Half
Pritzl in for UW and doing the Jarmusz thing of just standing in the corner hoping to not get the ball. Hart travels, no call. Held ball goes to UW. Brown hits his 3rd 3 of the half to double the UW lead. Brown fouled on the drive via a hip check and somehow THAT is a travel? But not Josh Hart doing the living room slide from that Tom Cruise movie? Didn’t realize traveling was so subjective. Hayes travels on the next UW trip. Good call. I don’t think you’re allowed to pivot without dribbling anymore. Jenkins flattens Pritzl with a forearm and that’s a blocking foul on Pritzl? Good lord. V hits both FT to pull within a pair. Brevin Pritzl shot fakes are the funniest shot fakes. Iverson draws the And1 with a strong drive the rim. Smart play too going to the other side of the rim as a shield.
Wisconsin 27 Villanova 23 3:25′ 1st Half
Showalter with help D and massive block on the V drive. I don’t like Prtizl obviously but he did a decent job to contest or that was an easy layup . Hayes working inside for 2 following his own miss. He heads the ball back after the make and V clutches their pearls. I guess that is a 15-yard delay of game penalty. Assessed on the kickoff. V snatches an offensive rebound and leads to a shooting foul on UW.
Koenig back in for UW to close the half. Hayes well short on a midrange and V runs out spacing well to knock down an open 3. Badger lead down to 2 again. V showing a little zone look and UW off. Showalter takes 90% of the shot before changing his mind and its 100% a dumb turnover. Iverson flattened on the airball by Brown and V didn’t like that call. Just the 6th on V so Badgers not shooting but they can hold for the last shot. Koenig dance time. He pushes off and rattles home a long 2. V takes a quick TO which is fortunate for them because Hayes stole the inbound and punched it. Just .9 seconds left so no replay off the national championship game at least for this half.
HALFTIME Wisconsin 31 Villanova 27
- UW shooting quite well, V not so much. But ugly UW turnovers not helping the cause. V not shooting well but have to figure eventually % will even out.
- V made 7-10 FTs. Given how the game is being called I would expect V to keep driving the ball to the basket.
|Field Goal %||54.2||29.6|
|Three Point %||36.4||36.4|
|Free Throw %||25.0||70.0|
V scores on its 9th offensive rebound. Happ looked a little tentative after picking up his 1st on an offensive rebound. V snags its 10th OR on the next possession but UW forces a tie up. Happ powers through the bump and drives in for 2. Hart drives and throws and elbow into Koenig so of course thats a foul on Koenig. Happ again soft on D and V drives in for 2 more. Hayes muscles in on the drive as UW first 2 2nd half baskets come on strong drives by the bigs. Some type of hand check called on Koenig I think? That’s his 3rd foul. Iverson in for him. V scores off the inbounds. Finally a foul called on V on what looked like pretty good defense. Happ hammered no call of course, and misses but he cleans it up to get the lead back to 4. No soft D that time and Happ blocks the V drive. Iverson passed when he should have shot it and turnover leads to V run out and foul on Trice.
Wisconsin 37 Villanova 33 15:33′ 2nd Half
V hit 2 FTs and margin is just a deuce for UW. Trice out of control but Iverson working on the offensive glass draws the foul. Mild touch on Hart. He does worse on offense every time. Happ forces a tieup but called for a 3rd foul somehow? Iverson scared off how aggressive V is and quick whistles so Hart scores on the layup. Tie game. Koenig back with 3 fouls. Expect more drives by V looking for his 4th. Koenig drives in and commits a charge for his 4th. That’s a bad call. Koenig already off his feet for the floater and defender slides under him. Badgers getting frustrated as V bulls in for 2 and the lead. V throwing elbows, arms shoulders, in to UW defenders and Badgers can’t get a whistle. Great ball movement for easy 2 for Hayes. Jenkins with a tough drive in for 2 and nice shot gets V back in the lead. Showalter gets his legs taken out from him on the 3 and no call. Jenkins steps on him inches from the official. Iverson collects and gets fouled. He splits and UW is down 1. Didn’t see the contact but nice drive by Brunson for Villanova gets the And1.
Villanova 43 Wisconsin 40 11:59′ 2nd Half
Happ out there with 3 fouls. Villanova will be driving and driving and driving until he gets 4 and 5. That foul on the offensive glass looks even dumber. Iverson with an offensive rebound and Hayes drives in. Phantom whistle on Villanova there. I didn’t see contact. Defender looked to be straight up. Hayes splits and the deficit is 3. Iverson called for something? no idea. I never know. V is in the bonus. Hart drives in and Iverson backs off. V stretches the lead to 5. Showalter fouled and its a turnover. Showalter flattened on a layup and again no call. This is garbage officiating. Iverson blocks the Hart shot and called for a foul. Sweet swing ball movement gets to Hayes for a midrange. Trice fouled on the same reach in that V has gotten away with over and over again and now apparently the refs decide its a foul. Thats a good way to piss off everyone on all sides. Selective enforcement. Hayes stays with his miss and UW within 1. V showing pressure and traps but UW breaks without too much trouble. Prtizl in for Iverson. Hayes forces a 3 for the tie but no good. UW needs to slow it down. Trice off on a 3 but Pritzl bothers the V guy and UW keeps the ball.
Villanova 50 Wisconsin 47 7:05′ 2nd Half
Happ fouled off the inbounds and UW in the bonus but that might not be that helpful. Happ splits and UW down 2. V looked to be fouled on the drive but no call that time and V advantage back to 4. Now refs looking to even things up and V called for a slight bump on Hayes. He hits 1/2. UW still down 3. Gard just tring to stay close until he can bring back Koenig. And there he is. Margin at 5 and Koenig readying to check in. Happ fouled on the drive. Not a bad foul for V to send Happ to the line in the 1-and-1. Happ splits again as UW down 4 and missed 8 FTs. V hits a 3 and V up 7 and smelling blood. Gard takes a TO.
Villanova 57 Wisconsin 50 5:16′ 2nd Half
Hayes drives in for 2. Showalter hit in the face on the defensive glass. No call. Koenig hits the midrange and UW back within 3.
Villanova 57 Wisconsin 54 3:57′ 2nd Half
Hayes drives and kicks to Koenig in the corner for 3. Honors even with 3+’ left. Hayes and Happ with a clean block on Hart and they call Hayes for the foul. Absolutely no clue as to what the call was. Hayes blocked it clean and Happ didn’t body him at all. Again, any contact was initiated by Hart. Happ drives in for 2 and UW reclaims the lead. Villanova takes a TO.
Wisconsin 59 Villanova 58 2:27′ 2nd Half
Happ forced to foul the V shooter picking up his 4th. V is 1/2 and we’re tied again. Hayes misses in close but keeps scrapping. Koenig was positioned in the corner for 3 and not happy he couldn’t get it. That’s why, because off the inbounds he sticks a 3.
Brunson drives in for 2 and V showing pressure again. Gard wants a TO to set something up.
Wisconsin 62 Villanova 61 1:24′ 2nd Half
Koenig off the heel and V ball down 1 under a minute. Hart drives in and doubled by Hayes and Happ. This time his travel is called. He just loses his balances and goes down. Koenig trapped and rather than take the last TO (which he should have done) he floats a pass that is tipped away. Hayes hooks the V defender and Wildcats will head to the line for FT to reclaim the lead. Koenig apparently didn’t watch Hayes throw away an Elite 8 trip last season against ND. Brutal decision from the senior. V splits and we’re tied. Gard has TO if he wants it. He burns it. About a 6-second difference in shot and game clock meaning I think we know what play V is drawing up no matter how this possession plays out. Does Koenig have any more magic in him? Hayes drives in and scores on the reverse layup after a little hesitation feinting like he was going to kick to Koenig (which I think we all expected). Badgers up 2 with 11.4 left.
Wisconsin 64 Villanova 62 :11.4′ left 2nd Half
Have to figure its in Hart’s hands and he is going to the basket to get a layup or a foul. There he goes. Brown knocks it away clean? and is fouled. UW in the double bonus and Brown can put it away here if he can make both. Brown just reaches in and grabs the ball as Hart goes past Koenig. No pressure Vitto. He hits the first. TO Villanova? Yup. If he misses, again, I think I know the play call. Brown misses but UW smartly double teams the rebounder and V can’t get a look.
FINAL Wisconsin 65 Villanova 62
- Hard to overstate how impressive this win is for UW having Koenig and Happ in foul trouble for such long stretches.
- Big hat tip to Iverson who stepped up and provided a shot of energy off the bench especially on the glass.
- Trice with a day to forget with 2 ghastly turnovers, 3 fouls, and 1 rebound as his stat line. He had a big opportunity with Koenig on the bench and didn’t exactly seize the moment.
- The fact that Jordan Hill didn’t get much action despite Koenig’s foul trouble and Trice’s dismal day is discouraging.
- UW improved dramatically on the boards limiting V to 3 offensive rebounds in the 2nd half. Ethan Happ has a way of shutting that down.
- I don’t know how you win a close game shooting 43.8% from the FT line but UW did.
- I don’t how you win a close game -6 in turnovers but UW did.
- I don’t know how you win a close game when you go 10-deep and get 3 total points off the bench but UW did.
- UW with 5 blocks and 4 steals none bigger than Brown’s play. Shout out to Brown for his 3 first half triples and the biggest defensive play of the day.
- UW made 5 more FGs and shot a robust 53.1% but the turnovers and the fouls and FTs kept Villanova afloat.
- 2nd in the regular season, 2nd in the conference tournament, Sweet 16 is a pretty typical year for Wisconsin. House money at this point against either Virginia or Florida.
|Field Goal %||53.1||41.2|
|Three Point %||33.3||31.3|
|Free Throw %||43.8||71.4|