Wisconsin cruises past Coastal Carolina
The Sports Xchange
OMAHA, Neb. -- Center Frank Kaminsky scored 27 points, and No. 1 seed Wisconsin avoided trouble in its NCAA Tournament opener, defeating No. 16 seed Coastal Carolina 86-72 in Friday's second round of the Midwest Regional at Century Link Center Omaha.
A top seed for the first time in school history, Wisconsin (32-3) advances to play Oregon (26-9) in Sunday's regional quarterfinals.
Forwards Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes added 20 and 15 points, respectively, as Wisconsin capitalized on its decisive size advantage en route to shooting 54.1 percent.
The Badgers led by 15 at halftime and were ahead by as many as 24 points with 3:42 remaining.
Guard Warren Gillis scored 22 points and sophomore guard Elijah Wilson scored 20 to pace Coastal Carolina (24-10). The Chanticleers were making their fourth overall NCAA Tournament appearance, and second in a row.
Wisconsin, the nation's most efficient offense, shot 54.8 percent from the field in the first half in building a 47-32 halftime lead.
The Badgers committed only two turnovers, made eight 3-pointers on 17 attempts and had three players score in double figures in the first half, with 13 points apiece from Dekker and Hayes, and 12 from Kaminsky.
BADGER BITS: Coastal Carolina fell to 0-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, but its head coach, Cliff Ellis, entered the game with an 8-9 NCAA Tournament record, with a pair of Sweet 16 appearances (Clemson in 1990, Auburn in 2003). ... Wisconsin entered the game leading the nation in fewest fouls per game (12), fewest turnovers per game (7.4) and fewest free-throw attempts allowed per game (11). ... Wisconsin has been to the NCAA Tournament in each of coach Bo Ryan's 14 seasons and improved to 21-13 all-time under Ryan in the tournament.