Vanderbilt vs Wisconsin

Wisconsin back to Round of 16 wire reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Wisconsin Badgers are riding the nation's stingiest defense - and admittedly a bit of luck - back to the round of 16.

The Badgers held the Southeastern Conference's two leading scorers in check Saturday night and Ryan Evans grabbed a crucial rebound with 2.1 seconds left to help Wisconsin fend off Vanderbilt 60-57 in the NCAA tournament.

The Badgers held John Jenkins (20.1) and Jeffery Taylor (16.3) to 13 and 9 points, respectively in advancing to face top-seeded Syracuse in the East Regional in Boston.

Jenkins got just one good look at the basket all night, and it came on a wide-open 3-pointer in the final seconds. With the Commodores trailing 59-57, Jenkins created some space between him and Jarred Berggren, but like so many of his other shots on this night, it was long.

"That was as wide open a shot as we gave up the whole game," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. "It just didn't happen to go down."

Evans grabbed the rebound among a mash pit of bodies pushing and shoving underneath the basket, corralling the ball and drawing the foul with 2.1 seconds left.

"It was a pretty good look," Jenkins said. "I felt like I got a good chance of having it going in, just like a lot of looks I had today. It just didn't drop for me."

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Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings desperately wanted a whistle on the Badgers but didn't get it.

If the Badgers didn't get away with a foul, they know they got away with a rare defensive breakdown.

"He's one of the best scorers in the country, one of the best shooters in the country," Badgers point guard Jordan Taylor said. "So when you see a guy get a look like that, your heart kind of drops. I know my mom already bought tickets to Boston, so I was hoping that it didn't go in.

"But Jared did a great job of recovering there and making it as difficult as possible. Ryan did a great job of checking out down low and securing the rebound. But it was definitely heart-stopping for a second there."

Berggren would get another chance to come up big for the Badgers, and he did.

Evans sank the first free throw but after a Vandy timeout, he missed the second and the Commodores called another timeout with 1.3 seconds left to set up the full-court play for a chance to send it to overtime.

Berggren got his right hand on Lance Goulbourne's overhand heave, however, and the Badgers, celebrated a return trip to the Round of 16, where they lost last year to Butler.

The fourth-seeded Badgers (26-9) were led by Jordan Taylor's 14 points and also got 12 from Berggren, 11 from Evans and reserve Ben Brust and 10 from Mike Bruesewitz.

The Badgers grabbed two critical offensive rebounds in the final minute. First, Berggren rebounded a miss by Evans with 46 seconds to go and then Josh Gasser, who was hooked up to IVs earlier in the day after waking up sick, grabbed another board with 16.3 seconds left.

He missed the front end of a 1-and-1, however, giving Jenkins the chance in the closing seconds to send fifth-seeded Vandy (25-11) to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2007.

Stifled by a team that allowed just 52.8 points coming in, Vanderbilt didn't take its first lead until the first minute of the second half, on Jeffery Taylor's first basket of the night.

The Commodores actually outshot Wisconsin 43.5 percent to 41.8. But they made just 5 of 19 3-pointers, and the Badgers made 10 of 33.

"Well, people who are going to shoot have off days," said Jenkins, who was 3 of 13 from the floor. "And it was one of mine today, unfortunately."

Jeffery Taylor, had an off day, too. He was just 4 of 12 on the same court where he led Hobbs to the New Mexico state big-schools championship in 2008.

"I think it was more a matter of the ball not going in" than the Badgers' badgering defense, Jeffery Taylor said. "All of my shots pretty much felt good. They just were a little bit short or a little bit too long. Things like that happen in basketball."

Brust's layup and 3-pointer from the right corner gave the Badgers their biggest lead at 53-44 with 6:33 remaining. Suddenly, however, the Badgers had trouble with Vandy's 2-3 zone. They couldn't penetrate and kept taking long 3-pointers with the shot clock winding down.

The Commodores capitalized with a 13-3 run, taking a 57-56 lead on Festus Ezeli's layup with 2:25 remaining.

Jordan Taylor restored Wisconsin's lead with a contested 3-pointer from the top of the circle and the Badgers turned to defense to improve to 4-0 at The Pit. They also won twice here in 2000, advancing to the Final Four.

Ezeli led the Commodores with 14 points but he didn't start and the Badgers took advantage.

Evans started out just like he did in the Badgers' NCAA opener, when he sank his first four baskets and scored nine straight points to give Wisconsin a 14-5 lead on its way to a 25-point blowout of Montana.

This time, he hit a jumper, a 3-pointer and a bank shot from the paint before the Commodores knew what hit them, then added a free throw that gave the Badgers a quick 10-2 lead.

Ezeli was an onlooker as Stallings started Steve Tchiengang instead. Ezeli entered the game at the 16:50 mark with Vanderbilt trailing 7-2.

Unlike the Grizzlies 48 hours earlier, the Commodores settled down and settled in, pulling to 32-31 at the break on Brad Tinsley's NBA-long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Jeffery Taylor's minutes were limited in the first half after he picked up two quick fouls and he had no points and one rebound at halftime. He gave Vandy its first lead with a jumper 23 seconds into the second half, but the Badgers responded with seven straight points.

"When you start off the game like that and you have to kind of play spot minutes, it's tough to get into the rhythm of the game," Jeffery Taylor said.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Vanderbilt #5 312657
Wisconsin #4 «322860
VANDY:F. Ezeli 14 Pts
VANDY:F. Ezeli 11 Reb
VANDY:L. Goulbourne 2 Ast
WI:J. Taylor 14 Pts
WI:J. Berggren 6 Reb
WI:R. Evans 4 Ast

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Festus Ezeli
Jared Berggren
Vanderbilt Commodores
J. Jenkins, G333-135-622213
J. Taylor, F304-120-01039
L. Goulbourne, F282-33-411227
B. Tinsley, G244-60-021410
S. Tchiengang, F131-10-02122
F. Ezeli, C275-74-6110114
K. Johnson, G180-20-01100
D. Parker, G151-20-01102
R. Odom, F120-00-01030
J. Smart, G-FDid Not Play
A. Noll, FDid Not Play
K. Fuller, GDid Not Play
J. Henderson, CDid Not Play
J. Siakam, FDid Not Play
S. Moats, FDid Not Play
Totals 20-4612-163281757
Wisconsin Badgers
J. Taylor, G395-151-123114
J. Berggren, F-C325-121-162212
R. Evans, G-F314-72-554311
M. Bruesewitz, F264-60-032310
J. Gasser, G241-20-13032
R. Wilson, G-F230-30-02220
B. Brust, G204-80-040011
F. Kaminsky, F50-20-02020
D. Fahey, GDid Not Play
E. Anderson, CDid Not Play
D. Dukan, FDid Not Play
J. Wise, GDid Not Play
T. Jackson, GDid Not Play
J. Smith, GDid Not Play
Totals 23-554-827131660
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
S. Carolina12-626-1143
Ole Miss10-822-1477
Texas A&M8-1016-1593
Miss. State6-1216-16149

Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Michigan St.10-820-1550
Ohio St.7-1117-1590
Penn St.6-1215-18101
Other games
K-State 59 Final
Syracuse 75
GONZ 66 Final
Ohio St 73
MRST 53 Final
MU 62
VCU 61 Final
Indiana 63
Iowa St 71 Final
Kentucky 87
Colorado 63 Final
Baylor 80
N Mexico 56 Final
Louisville 59