Wisconsin advances to Final Four
Frank Kaminsky posted 28 points and 11 rebounds as the Wisconsin Badgers edged the Arizona Wildcats in a 64-63 overtime thriller in Anaheim, Calif., to win the West regional and advance to the Final Four for the first time since 2000.
In this year's only Elite Eight matchup featuring a region's top two seeds, the top-seeded Wildcats and No. 2 Badgers did not disappoint with Kaminsky leading the way on 11-of-20 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Kaminsky scored six points in overtime and Traevon Jackson finished with 10 points for Wisconsin (30-7), which will face the Midwest representative – Michigan or Kentucky – in next Saturday's national semifinal.
Nick Johnson scored 16 points to lead Arizona (33-5), which had three chances to win in the final 10 seconds, the final one coming after a lengthy replay review gave the ball to the Wildcats with 2.3 seconds left, only to have Johnson's final shot come just after the buzzer. Kaleb Tarczewski chipped in 12 points and Aaron Gordon grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds for the Wildcats, who were trying to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2001.
The teams began overtime by exchanging 3-pointers by Ben Brust and Gordon, and short buckets by Kaminsky and Gordon before Kaminsky made a hook shot to put Wisconsin ahead with 2:20 remaining and later added a tip-in to make it 64-61 with 1:10 to go. The Wildcats trailed by one with the clock ticking down when T.J. McConnell missed a jumper and Johnson was called for an offensive foul for pushing off on a drive to the hoop, prior to the bizarre final sequence in which the replay review took approximately five minutes to determine which team touched the ball last near the sideline.
After missing his first eight field goals, Gordon made a reverse layup to tie the score at 52 with just over 2 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation before Jackson banked in a tough runner with his off-hand to put the Badgers ahead by two. Johnson forced a tough jumper on the other end that missed wide left, but Rondae Hollis-Jefferson caught the ball in mid-air and dunked to tie the score with 34.2 seconds left, and Jackson missed a long jumper to send the game to overtime.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Kaminsky had gone 10 straight games without registering a double-double. ... Gordon and McConnell combined to shoot 5-of-21 from the field while Johnson, the Pac 12 Player of the Year, was 6-of-17. ... Hollis-Jefferson notched 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks off the bench for the Wildcats.