This showing by the Wisconsin Badgers has to, without a doubt, be the best performance by the team all season long. Wisconsin beat the Michigan State Spartans, 80-69, in overtime to win the Big Ten Tournament Sunday at the United Center in Chicago. Nigel Hayes put up a performance for the ages, one that could be the best of his young, promising basketball career so far. Hayes posted 25 points and was 12-of-12 from the free throw line, an incredible feat as many of those stops at the line were in high-pressure, must-make scenarios.
The Badgers regained relevance in this game by building an 11-point comeback to tie the game and send the championship game to overtime. At that point, the game was tied, 69-69, but only after Branden Dawson's baseline jumper rimmed out after a painful two seconds watching seeing if that shot would determine the Badgers' seeding fate.
The Badgers then went 11-0 in overtime, shutting down the Michigan State offense with stifling defense.
Duje Dukan put up 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep on Sunday and had an impressive offensive rebound tip-in at an important time in the game. Frank Kaminsky had 19 points and Bronson Koenig put up 18, a magnificent second-half from the sophomore point guard who was only able to contribute one point in the first 20 minutes of play. Koenig also shot 4-of-8 from behind the arc, and nailed shots as the shot clock was winding down and in must-needed scoring situations.