Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 20, 2016
And just like that, Bronson Koenig has become part of March Madness lore with a game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to push No. 7 Wisconsin to a 66-63 win vs. No. 2 Xavier and into the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the last six years.
It has been an amazing run for the Badgers, who in early January were 9-9 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten. Moments earlier, Koenig drained a game-tying 3-pointer.
Now, Wisconsin lives on after making it to the last two Final Fours as well as playing for the national championship in 2015. And just think: This team entered the Big Dance with a thud, losing its Big Ten tourney opener to Nebraska.
Top star: Bronson Koenig. Who else, right? The junior guard scored a game-high 20 points, hitting 6-of-15 shots. In fact, all six of his field goals were 3-pointers, as he went 6-of-12 from beyond the arc. Koenig also had seven rebounds. And, of course, he nailed the game-tying and game-winning shots. Koenig never will have to buy a meal again in Madison.
Top play: Bronson Koenig's game-winning buzzer-beater. Enough said.
Top stat: 6, 3-pointers by Bronson Koenig, one more than Xavier hit as a team.
The key to victory: Protecting the ball, which is always a strong suit for Wisconsin. The Badgers committed just eight turnovers.
It was over when: Bronson Koenig drained the game-winning buzzer-beater. But don't forget about Zak Showalter forcing a turnover by taking a charge in the final seconds to give the Badgers an attempt at the final shot.
What?s next: Wisconsin will play No. 6 Notre Dame in a Sweet 16 matchup. The Irish already have dispatched one Big Ten team in Michigan. But, you have to like the Badgers? chances vs. ND, a team it matches up well with. Win that, and a game vs. the winner of No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Indiana looms in the Elite Eight. It has been a great run for Greg Gard, who took over the team in December on an interim basis after the abrupt retirement of Bo Ryan, got the full-time job late in the year and now is in the Sweet 16.
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