Wisconsin's season is over after Friday's Sweet 16 loss to Notre Dame in Philadelphia.
The Badgers led for much of the game, an ugly, defense-first affair, but late turnovers by Wisconsin's two best players -- Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig -- ultimately allowed Notre Dame to pull out a 61-56 win. The Fighting Irish built an 8-0 run off those turnovers to end the game, an undeniably sour ending to Wisconsin's season.
The Badgers led 56-55 with just under 20 seconds to go before Hayes was trapped in the corner following the inbounds. Wisconsin fans clamored for a foul call, but alas, play went on as Notre Dame took the lead.
#RapidReplay by @AudibleSports: #Sweet16 Notre Dame Steal and bucket vs. Wisconsin #MarchMadness #NDvsWI pic.twitter.com/i04R7ImZbS— Audible Sports (@AudibleSports) March 26, 2016
Notre Dame went up 57-56 on that play by Demetrius Jackson, and after Bronson Koenig was unable to convert on a layup at the other end, the Irish were fouled and V.J. Beachem sunk two more free throws to go up 59-56 with seven seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds, Koenig rushed up court, but lost possession of the ball before Jackson recovered to ice the game.
Ethan Happ, who fouled out late on a controversial loose-ball call, led Wisconsin with 14 points and 12 rebounds, a monster effort in the season finale for the redshirt freshman. Hayes and Zak Showalter, another young Wisconsin contributor in his own right, each added 11. Koenig finished with eight points, going only 1-for-6 from the field.
We'll have much more on the game and Wisconsin's season in the coming days.