Wisconsin 65, Michigan 62: Ben Brust Hits From Everywhere as Badgers Win Overtime Thriller

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Brust's half-court heave and three-point winner in overtime lifted the Badgers to another top-five victory, this time over the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines.

MADISON, Wis. -- Everybody knew Ben Brust had range. This is nothing new to anybody who's seen Wisconsin basketball play over the last two years.

Extend his range to half court now.

After the Michigan Wolverines (21-3, 8-3) took the lead on a Tim Hardaway Jr. three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left, Brust caught the inbounds pass from Mike Bruesewitz and drilled a half-court shot as time expired. And in overtime, it was Brust's 25-foot contested three-pointer in overtime that won it 65-62 for Wisconsin (17-7, 8-3 Big Ten).

The Badgers had other heroes. Jared Berggren (13 points, eight rebounds) tied the game at 57 with a vicious and-1 dunk over Trey Burke. Sam Dekker scored 12 points off the bench. Ryan Evans and Bruesewitz combined to corral 17 rebounds and score 16 points.

But it was Brust's day.

It was not a game to remember for Brust over the first 39 minutes and 57.6 seconds. He made just two of his first seven field goals and just two of his first five three-pointers. He brought in just two rebounds. If the game ended after Hardaway Jr.'s three, Brust would have finished with just eight points.

Brust led all Badger scorers with 14, and his final six were the biggest six of the game.

Was it the best shot he's ever hit?

"That one wins by far," Brust said. "By a long shot. And then to be able to win the game in overtime, that makes it all the sweeter. It's something I'll remember forever and I'm sure a lot of people will."

Michigan head coach John Beilein said he instructed his team to foul whoever caught the inbounds pass at the end of regulation. "We were trying to foul, that was the instruction coming out. We had two fouls to give, go foul. [Brust] turned the corner on Caris [LeVert] and he couldn't get it done in time."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

If it weren't for the half-court heave -- The Shot? -- this would have been Hardaway Jr.'s game. Michigan guard and player of the year candidate Trey Burke led all scorers with 19 points, but the stifling Badgers defense held Burke to just 8-for-21 shooting. Hardaway scored 18 points on 8-for-17 shooting, and it was his performance in the last 10 minutes that looked poised to give Michigan the victory.

Michigan called a full timeout with 9:08 to go to give the freshman Burke a rest. From there on, Hardaway took over. He either scored or assisted on five of Michigan's six last made shots. Hardaway scored nine points with one assist from 8:29 in the second half until the end of regulation, including two go-ahead shots (and the seeming game-winning three).

The win bailed out Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan from some questionable late-game coaching decisions. Tied 60-60 with 39.6 seconds left, the Badgers opted not to use any of their three fouls to give on the Wolverines' final possession of regulation, resulting in the Hardaway three-pointer leading into the Brust half-court shot.

Then, in the overtime, Ryan opted to leave Ryan Evans on the court for an inbounds play with 13 seconds left. Evans (1-for-5 from the free throw line in the game) was fouled, sent to the line and missed the front end, leaving Michigan with another chance to tie. And again, still with three fouls to give, the Badgers opted not to foul on Michigan's final overtime possession, but Burke missed a three-pointer at the top of the key to give the Badgers the win.

The Wolverines managed (unofficially) just 91.4 points per possession, their second-worst offensive performance of the season (they scored 88.4 points per possession in a loss at Ohio State). Mitch McGary (6-for-10 from the field, 12 points) was the only Michigan player to shoot better than 50 percent from the field and their 43.0 percent effective field goal shooting was their second worst of the season (41.7 percent against Nebraska on Jan. 9).

With the win, Wisconsin moves into a tie for third with Michigan in the Big Ten standings. Indiana and Michigan State hold the conference league at 8-2, a half-game ahead of the Badgers.

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